Three Brothers: Book summary and reviews of Three Brothers by Peter Ackroyd

Three Brothers

by Peter Ackroyd

Three Brothers by Peter Ackroyd
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2014
    256 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Three Brothers follows the fortunes of Harry, Daniel, and Sam Hanway, a trio of brothers born on a postwar council estate in Camden Town. Marked from the start by curious coincidence, each boy is forced to make his own way in the world - a world of dodgy deals and big business, of criminal gangs and crooked landlords, of newspaper magnates, backbiters, and petty thieves.

London is the backdrop and the connecting fabric of these three lives, reinforcing Ackroyd's grand theme that place and history create, surround and engulf us. From bustling, cut-throat Fleet Street to hallowed London publishing houses, from the wealth and corruption of Chelsea to the smoky shadows of Limehouse and Hackney, this is an exploration of the city, peering down its streets, riding on its underground, and drinking in its pubs and clubs. Everything is possible - not only in the new freedom of the 1960s but also in London's timeless past.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. With overtones of Greek tragedy and Charles Dickens, this is a literary and engrossing parable and a loving tribute to London in all its depravity." - Library Journal

"[Ackroyd's] beloved London comes across as warm, coherent, and triumphantly alive." - Publishers Weekly

"There's no high-concept premise, no suspenseful turns of plot, other than the mystery of the Hanways' mother and a few fateful intersections, but the crisp narrative is worth a read for Ackroyd's poetic flourishes and the images and atmospheres he conjures from London's dark streets. " - Booklist

"At times humdrum and perfunctory, at others fantastical, this genre-spanning novel offers lightweight bookish entertainment." - Kirkus

"The waspish vignettes of literary London and fusty academe are a delight. The air is full of poison - and echoes of other Ackroyd novels." - The Telegraph (UK)

"London is a major character in the novel. In Ackroyd's accomplished hands the city becomes a mystical place, where visions abound. Highly recommended." - Daily Mail (UK)

"Three Brothers, an amalgam of social satire and noirish thriller, is vintage Ackroyd." - Financial Times (UK)

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Author Information

Peter Ackroyd Author Biography

Photo © Charles Hopkinson

Novelist, biographer, and poet Peter Ackroyd was born in London on October 5, 1949.

He graduated from Clare College, Cambridge, and studied at Yale University as a Mellon Fellow, where he completed Notes for a New Culture: An Essay on Modernism, published in 1976. On his return from Yale, he worked for The Spectator magazine in London as literary editor (1973-7), then as joint managing editor (1978-82) and film critic. He is chief book reviewer for The Times newspaper and a regular broadcaster on radio. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature since 1984.

Equally acclaimed for both his inventive biographies and his formally diverse fiction, Ackroyd blends past and present, fact and fiction in his writing.

He also displays a genius for literary impersonation, both in his ...

... Full Biography
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