Razor: Tilly Devine, Kate Leigh and the Razor Gangs
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Razor: Tilly Devine, Kate Leigh and the Razor Gangs

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  99 ratings  ·  17 reviews
In the 1920s and '30s in inner Sydney, some of the most terrifying criminals in Australia's history waged war with razor and gun. As gang fought gang, the streets echoed with the sound of violence and ran with blood. Razor chronicles in compelling detail the nether world ruled by fabled vice queens Tilly Devine and Kate Leigh, and financed by the spoils of illegal drugs an...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published 2009 by Pan Macmillan Australia (first published January 1st 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Razor, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Razor

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 205)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
One of the best things about true crime books like RAZOR by Larry Writer is the way that they can inform your understanding of current day events. When you hear the news of Gangland wars gone crazy (you realise that's happening again), blood in the streets (again), crime gone mad (again), notorious gangsters plying the media (again), the end of the world as we know it (again)...

The story of RAZOR is the story of gangland crime leaders Kate Leigh and Matilda (Tilly) Devine, and the sly grog shops...more
Great read for anyone who lives, or has ever lived, in inner-city Sydney. Narrates the rise and fall of the Razor Gangs of the 1920s and 30s, based around Darlinghurst and Surry Hills, and the criminal matriarchs Tilly Devine and Kate Leigh. Fascinating. All this time I've been living atop the site of the Great Eveleigh Railyards Robbery, or at least slightly to the left of it, and I didn't even know it, and that's just from the first chapter. Interviewed the author today as part of my research...more
Michelle Dean
I loved the book so much, if you read the book and watch the show, it makes the story line easier to understand. I liked the book more though, it was very informative and gave you a sight in what the 30s looked like. That's a good thing, because TV is becoming to explicit for viewing these days, especially for young audiences. It's a good book and there are pictures in the middle, it gave you an insight on the weapons they used for the slashing and horrifying murders of the razor hurst victims.
Razor shines a light into the fascinating history of the underworld of Sydney under the competing interests of Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine. While I feel the writing is sometimes a little jumpy (suddenly you are back 20 years to follow a new story), the stories themselves are so fantastic and the characters of Kate and Tilly so unbelievable that I enjoyed reading it.

This is one of the most interesting books on Australian history I have read. You could not make these people up!
I really liked this book. As a historical read it was easy to digest because the tale it tells is so gripping. This murky world is amazing and the real life characters are scary and probably more so in real life.
The most amazing thing is that two women ran Sydney's underworld and they were formidable characters.
Highly recommend.
That's right, I read this book well before the Underbelly TV series was even created. ANY Underbelly series.
This book was brilliant. A must!
I was incredibly bored one afternoon, so I decided to watch the Australian miniseries 'Underbelly Razor'. 40 minutes later, I was completely hooked and an obsession was born.
Following the series, I was desperate to know how accurate it had actually been (Answer: surprisingly accurate)
Now it is prime real estate, but back in the roaring twenties, Darlinghurst was a dark and frightening place ruled by 3 underworld figures: Kate Leigh, Tilly Devine and Phil "The Jew" Jeffs. Razor tells the tale of...more
Aug 18, 2013 ☼♄Jülie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Local Historians and general readers.
Recommended to ☼♄Jülie by: Research.

A must read for anyone interested in the early history of Sydney...specifically 1930's.

Very graphic portrayals of real life Sydney and it's main criminal leaders/rulers, in the streets of 1930's Sydney.
Giving a very good insight into the local laws and community dynamics of the time, which impacted on the overall culture of crime and so dictated the climate for a hierarchy based criminal element.

The book details real day to day events of a seedy underworld with all the wanton lawlessness and...more
Brad Heap
The book is much better than the TV show.
Alane Kataria-Rennie
Razor included some solid research and interesting facts, but it could have been presented in a more interesting way.

Writer stated facts in chronological order and could have made an effort to give each character more of a narrative.

I think someone could make an excellent historical fiction novel with this material.
Annie West
An amazing glimpse into Australias history! Who knew the once now quiet city streets of Sydney where the pavement for such crime! Will be checking out the main locations in my next trip to Sydney! The story was incredibly told and pieced together a credit to Larry writer.
Amazing history, but no pole-dancing or fake tits, so I'm not sure how Channel 9 will make an Underbelly series out of it. Will be interesting to watch.
Informative chronicle of the Razorhurst era. Not the most gripping book I've ever read but good as a record of an aspect of true Australian crime.
Ian Brown
A brilliantly narrated account of the razor gang wars of the 20's and 30's in Sydney. Absolutely riveting.
Brilliant portrait of Sydneys gruesome underworld in the 30's 40's and 50's
Sue Tsesmelis
Sue Tsesmelis marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2014
Alex Ristea
Alex Ristea is currently reading it
Jul 14, 2014
Tegan Boundy
Tegan Boundy is currently reading it
Jul 06, 2014
Tien marked it as to-read
Jun 26, 2014
☼♄Jülie marked it as to-read
Jun 13, 2014
Sally is currently reading it
Apr 29, 2014
Wickstrom marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2014
Heather marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
The Australian Book Of True Crime Garden of Evil: The Granny Killer's Reign of Terror Bumper: The Life and Times of Frank 'Bumper' Farrell The Australian Book of Disasters Never Before, Never Again

Share This Book