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GB84

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  765 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
The 1984 miners' strike brought to vivid, painful and dramatic life by David Peace. Here he describes the entire civil war, with corruption from government to boardroom, and all the tumultuous violence, passion and dirty tricks.
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Published by Faber & Faber (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30)
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Adam
David Peace makes a powerful, angry, ominous, and forbidding monument of a novel of the ’84 UK Miner’s strike (which was an equivalent labor defeat to the ’85 Pan Am strike, but more violent and filled with drama.). If you aren’t in the right frame of mind, this frantic and wonderful read might seem like apocalyptic mumblings from a scary bum or a newscast from hell rather than a proper novel. Peace takes from John Dos Passo, Iain Sinclair, and James Ellroy and intertwines multiples narratives a ...more
Adam Stone
May 29, 2013 Adam Stone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
GB84 is a novel about the Miners Strike that took place in Great Britain between March 1984 and March 1985. It is not a straightforward retelling of the events that took place over that year but rather a fictionalised account of the time and certain events that happened during the strike.

The book has a large cast of characters from striking miners, to members of the national union of miners, to policemen and members of the special services, government ministers.

The narrative is sprawling, taki
...more
Tfitoby
Nov 04, 2011 Tfitoby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit
Ah, it was OK. Nothing amazing here. The comaprisons to James Ellroy are a massive compliment as, if anything, this is Ellroy extra-lite.

I enjoyed the one Red Riding book that i've found so far but this felt a little lightweight and I couldn't help but get enraged at the amount of story that seemed to be missed as Peace jumps from one storyline to another, telling none of them fully and leaving you to assume events from later dialogue. And that's really where I was disappointed, the novel seemed
...more
Smiley McGrouchpants
A plunge, and a plunge after plunge after plunge: If there's one word to describe David Peace's extrapolative version of the 1984 Great Britain miner's strike, it's "headlong." His staccato style gets you right there, at the tables, chairs, lines along the road, the backs of cars, etc., feeling the bad vibes and latent (and not-so-latent) hostilities along with the cigarette smoke and cold, crisp air. Who knew?
Derek Baldwin
Jul 28, 2011 Derek Baldwin rated it really liked it
Wow, this is tough going at times, but on balance it's worth it. The stacatto prose really can be offputting: it's so blunt and seemingly affectless. But the cumulative effect is really very powerful.



What is especially rewarding with this novel is the juxtaposition of the "behind the scenes" stuff - the NUM, the cops, Special Branch, the lackeys to Margaret Thatcher, etc - with the really quite heart-breaking strikers diaries of Martin and Peter which are interleaved throughout the main text. Th
...more
Marian Tsepeli
Oct 02, 2016 Marian Tsepeli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This political thriller by David Peace is incredibly compelling. Combining two genres, the memoir and the classic relistic novel form, he inserts the reader violently into the troubled era of the Miners' Strike in 1984-85 Britain . The author, with his staccato voice, recounts the events in short brief sentences as if he is panting, carrying the reader along the journey. The dialogue is fragmented, and linearity is very often disturbed in favour of a simultaneous and multi- level narration. We a ...more
Euzie
Nov 15, 2010 Euzie rated it it was ok
A book in three stories

Story 1 - the tale of the miners - if i could give this 10 out of 5 i would, amazing, powerful and relevant today

Story 2 - A crime thriller focusing on a botched special branch job and its cover up, decent if occasionally uninspiring though it sort of bids the book together well though it does get a bit wrapped up in itself towards the end

Story 3 - The tale of terry, Chief Executive Officer of the NUM - Bloody awful, and the denouement actually made me throw the book acros
...more
Joe
Feb 18, 2014 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overly complicated. A number of very good stories all overlapping. But I found the jumping from one narrative to another slight confusing and more importantly broke the flow. I ended up reading the miners story first, all the way through and this was depressing, remembering these times and what they were forced to endure.

I'd still recommend you read this book though.
Jonathan
Noir as black as the Yorkshire coals that fuel it! David Peace dips his brush in the facts to paint a vivid portrait of a nation divided by class, greed and politics. I experienced Thatcher's Britain as the teenage son and grandson of miners, It's a time that is easy to remember, but not to understand. Peace helps...
Katy Derbyshire
Feb 12, 2014 Katy Derbyshire rated it it was amazing
Astounding. The best book I've read in a long time. Does everything wrong and it all turns out right.
Steve Cripwell
Jan 06, 2017 Steve Cripwell rated it really liked it
Peace at his raw and graphic best
cardulelia carduelis
First, the good.

This a classic story of the common man against the government. The working man against Westminster. Labour vs. Tory. Quasi-socialism vs. ... whatever we have now.

The book follows several different narratives over the course of a year, with each chapter following a week of the strike. The skeleton of the novel is the incredible strike itself that forever changed British industry and the unions, on the back of which Peace inserts his fictional players and a few questionable subplo
...more
E
Jan 19, 2015 E rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ma-reading
Controversial five stars! Before I read this most of what I knew about the miner's strike in 1984/85 came from the grumblings of British people I know and Billy Elliot (sorry). My partner is in the first generation of "Thatcher's children" – those who are living under Thatcher's long-reaching policies (including having to pay for university and so on.) I didn't know a lot more about all of it than that. But that's changed now, because this is such a well-researched and formally weird and brillia ...more
Jan
Nov 10, 2013 Jan rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle
If you're expecting GB84 to be a work of historical fiction, laying out the ins and outs of the Miners' Strike, you're going to be disappointed in this book.

If you approach it as a satire framed as a crime thriller, you might get along with it.

It took me half the book to work out how I felt about it. My conclusion: it's an odd book. I've now read three of Peace's books and this is the second where I've found his style hard to tune into. Tokyo Year Zero was similar, with the main story interspers
...more
John
Jan 04, 2014 John rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book, not always an easy read, but well worth the effort. It describes the long running strike of British coal miners against the government of Mrs Thatcher during the period 1984 -85. It is not a history; it mainly deals with the effects of the strike through the eyes of mineworkers and union leaders.
The book takes real events over the period from March 1984 to March 1985 and through the use of fictional characters describes the impacts of the strike on the miners, their fa
...more
Nickie
Jun 16, 2008 Nickie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Nickie by: Jezzah
Great Britain 1984, and parts of the country are effectively under martial law, as Thatcher's government tries to break the unions in what's been described as the third English civil war.

Peace covers the strike from all (or most) angles - the miners, the police, the government, the union, the secret services. Nobody but the miners come out of this looking good, and it's clear that it's the miners, as the troops, that take the beatings. Most of all, Peace highlights how the government was prepare
...more
Neil Powell
Jun 04, 2010 Neil Powell rated it liked it
Like Peace's masterpiece "The Red Riding Quartet", this novel is dark, violent and multi-layered. The prose is rich in descriptive text, at times almost poetic in style, which allows the reader to really immerse themselves within the tale. Peace's gift is to take an event that we all know, and force the reader to become enthralled. You find yourself hoping that the ending will be different, and when it isn't you find yourself disappointed.

The main thread of the story follows 4 major (fictional)
...more
Alastair Kemp
Aug 02, 2011 Alastair Kemp rated it really liked it
The thing about reading 'faction' is that you already know how it's going to end. That I still felt caught up in the book, willing some chracters on, wishing failure on others, even though ultimately you know it's the other way around, is testimony to the narrative power of this book. I was a young teenager when all this happened and living in the South East so the events weren't directly of concern to me at the time, but there are enough ghosts of the past to evoke the time whilst reading even ...more
Colin
Apr 04, 2014 Colin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Breathtakingly great, but requires some concentration. The story is an account of the miner's strike (largely based on true facts) and some of the shadowy characters operating behind the scenes on both sides (fictional - we hope!). The whole thing is infused with paranoia and with a creeping sense of portentousness, seeing the strike both as part of a wider history, (calls back to older strikes and to a more mythical past), and as the founding of a new era in the last few of the island - best su ...more
Otto Lambauer
Mar 07, 2014 Otto Lambauer rated it liked it
Gekauft als Krimi, war letzten Monat Nummer 1 der Zeit Krimibestenliste. Es gibt Blut und Mord und Grauslichkeiten, aber es gibt eigentlich keine Krimihandlung, alles spielt sich rund um den einjährigen Bergarbeiterstreik 1984/85 in GB ab. Um den Roman wirklich zu verstehen, muss man wohl viel über den Streik und die damalige Zeit und die handelnden Personen wissen. Das Tat ich nicht wirklich und hatte auch keine allzu große Lust, mich da einzulesen, darum hab ich wohl nur das Viertel Lesevergnü ...more
Nick
Jan 18, 2009 Nick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, history
Not for the faint-hearted, or the short-sighted. Gritty dialogue, rough characters, the occasional stream of consciousness, vicious backstabbing and corruption at the highest levels combine to produce a larger-than-lfe account of UK's miners' strike in 1984 (geddit?!). With everything at stake (workers rights, education, the deepest values held by society, state brutality and the struggle between the establishment and the left wing - see what I mean by everything) the miners' strike was one of t ...more
dadooronron0
Dec 27, 2015 dadooronron0 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: political
Wow! David Peace’s writing style in this book was simply breath-taking. There were several threads going on simultaneously that were spaced out to begin with but crashed together at the end with some impact. The double column newspaper style narrative was I think the most insightful as to what was going on at grass roots level, with everything else supplying the plots and the intrigue. I was so enthralled by this, that I have just started Seumas Milne’s "The Enemy Within" and straight away I am ...more
Quinn
Apr 06, 2012 Quinn rated it liked it
Okay, I liked this book but these are times that resonate for me (the miners' strike in 1984) and it's irritating that all of the characters seem to have worse "tunnel vision" than we undoubtedly had at the time. That said, I did enjoy Peace's portrayal of "the President" and "the Chairman" fighting a war of words over obscure points that had nothing to do with the dispute that was being fought in the real world.

Strangely, one character I did find myself identifying with, even though had I met h
...more
Andrew
Jul 13, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, politics
I shall give this book four stars despite having some reservations in regard the closing chapters and the lack of real closure to the narrative in my opinion.
It deserves four stars however as the backdrop of the miners strike feeds into a gritty thrilling tale and the use of actual events(with fictional detail interspersed)adds a grim nostalgia that kept me gripped.
I enjoyed this book I just felt it sagged at the end..all the clever work wasn't(in my opinion) drawn together for a interesting rev
...more
Alex
Jan 03, 2013 Alex rated it really liked it
One of the grottiest and grittiest books I've read in a while, and covering a slice of history I knew very little about. A very involving story with characters from both sides of the picket line. My favourite aspect of this book was the incredible attention to detail in its language and depiction of all classes in Britain, after the wonders and self-love of the Olympics, this brings you straight back to earth by detailing the groggy underbelly of British culture.

I've struggles with Peace in the
...more
LOL_BOOKS
IN DECEMBER I WANT TO READ BOOKS THAT I HAVEN'T PICKED MYSELF. SO I THOUGHT MEMERS COULD LIST SOME OF THEIR FAVORITE BOOKS OR THE BEST BOOKS THEY'VE READ THIS YEAR OR WHATEVER, AND THEN I WILL USE RANDOM.ORG TO PICK EIGHT OF THOSE TITLES MENTIONED BY MEMERS AND READ THEM! I PROMISE TO SHARE IMPRESSIONS.

JOAN DIDION'S BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER; THE HANDMAID'S TALE; NEAL STEPHENSON'S BAROQUE CYCLE, I FOUND THE FIRST HARD-GOING BUT THE SECOND TWO ARE MUCH QUICKER PACED; DAVID PEACE'S NINETEEN SEVENTY-SE
...more
Bco4
Aug 26, 2014 Bco4 rated it liked it
Recommended to Bco4 by: 7bde4887@opayq.com
Very mixed feelings about this book. I was intrigued by the "inside story" of the miners' strike and quite convinced that much of it, especially from the strikers' point of view, was credible.
However, I had trouble in focussing on whose bit of the story we were getting, even who was speaking at times, and all that stuff in italics with oblique references to blood and death puzzled me frequently - was I missing the point?Sometimes I was not even sure what had happened as it had been referred to
...more
Taylor Bright
Feb 16, 2013 Taylor Bright rated it liked it
This is characteristically dark, but with good reason. A tale of when a society cannibalizes itself and the dark methods used to purge members of that society. As with David Peace's work, it's immaculately researched and the truths are as astonishing as the fiction. It's also a reminder why so many still hate Margaret Thatcher and Thatcherism. I would recommend brushing up on the miner's strike of 1984 because there's a lot of shorthand that American readers won't be familiar with. And, if you'r ...more
Xian
Jun 08, 2013 Xian rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
note to self: could not get through it, abandoned after 150pages.

This isn't prose, it's an attempt at postmodern theatre or poetry maybe. Perhaps Peace is trying to convey the frantic-ness of the miner's strike 1984-1985 in Great Britain with his structure, but I was not in the mood for it. The staccato writing and foreign (to a non Brit or younger peraon) terminology serves to confuse more than anything. I am genuinely angry for having wasted my time reading.

Although in another time, if I have
...more
Stevo B
Sep 07, 2015 Stevo B rated it it was ok
This should have been so good. But it failed for me. The plot was thin and all too obvious. As soon as a plot line became interesting the book switched to another character's story. The interweaving of the different voices / stories just didn't work for me.

The staccato beat of the narrative was so off putting.

The newspaper columns didn't work with the rest of the plot.

It felt and read like a mess.

I have no doubt there are nuggets of a brilliant story in this book but it felt like devices got
...more
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161893
David Peace was born in 1967 and grew up in Ossett, near Wakefield. He left Manchester Polytechnic in 1991, and went to Istanbul to teach English. In 1994 he took up a teaching post in Tokyo and now lives there with his family.

His formative years were shadowed by the activities of the Yorkshire Ripper, and this had a profound influence on him which led to a strong interest in crime. His quartet of
...more
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