Blow Your House Down
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Blow Your House Down

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  181 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Virago's distinguished Modern Classics series is dedicated to the celebration of women writers of the 19th and 20th centuries and to the rediscovery and reprinting of their work.
Paperback, 180 pages
Published January 1st 1990 by Little, Brown Book Group-Virago Modern Classics
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Rachael Eyre
This is closer to her early books than the brilliant Regeneration trilogy, but that's not to say it isn't good. The first book I've read with prostitutes as the (anti?) heroines, it helps us get inside the minds of these women and see why they made what might seem otherwise repellent choices. We even see the killer's thoughts, which is unsettling to say the least.

Perhaps this is down to personal preference, but I wish we could have seen more of the love story between Jean and her girlfriend. Con...more
Uthpala Dassanayake
Blow Your House Down is another great work by Pat Baker. Writing is skillful as always.
This time it is prostitutes’ story. Some were forced into the situation under circumstances, some are there for easy good money, and some because that’s what they want. Only thing common in them is their profession. Each of them has their own characters, values, plans, reasons and their own set of problems. Then they all get a common threat, a murderer of prostitutes.
I liked the story, but towards the end it...more
Can't say I liked it but that does not mean it's not good.
Set in a different era and with a vastly different cast of characters to Barker's more well known books, the 'Regeneration' Trilogy, 'Blow Your House Down is about a group of women who earn their money walking the streets. Even though their occupation is the same the women themselves are very different from each other and are 'on the game' for varying reasons. Readers of 'Union Street' will recognise this style of writing from Barker but having been introduced to her through the 'Regeneration' t...more
Guy Salvidge
This is similar in tenor to Barker's debut, Union Street, although in general I feel this to be an inferior work. It starts strongly enough but the narrative peters out about three-quarters of the way through, with the murderer unexpectedly slain. Then there's a long coda. Pretty soon I'll have read all of Pat Barker's novels (I have three to go), but Blow Your House Down isn't one I'll be returning to anytime soon.
Not too long ago I realized that I've been reading mostly men authors. At the same time, I read an article in the New Yorker about Pat Barker, and English author, whose written several books focused on women's lives as well as books that wrestle with the plight of men. So I chose this book in particular because it was the only book they had available at the library. Overall, I guess I liked it...there was a lot of English slang that I didn't get at times, but I got the gist of the story: women l...more
This was a difficult read because the subject matter is harrowing but I thought it dealt with the subject very well. I liked the way the world (a very constrained world) was seen through the eyes of the women and I liked the non-judgemental feel to the novel. It seemed to me that 2 of the women in the book ended up with PTSD which is not something I have come across in novels before, that I'm aware of. The relationships between the women were very encouraging really - it's not often in literatur...more
I read this after liking "Union Street" by Barker. This is a novel, not a collection of stories so that alone made it somewhat better. Barker once again writes about the darker, dingier side of London, this time writing about a series of murders involving hookers. There is this one scene about a woman getting mugged and knocked to the ground and losing her teeth that I will never, ever forget, it makes my teeth ache just thinking about it.
Gareth Evans
It's grim up north -as it is in Pat Barker's other early novels. As usual it's graphic stuff - not for the prudish or faint-hearted. Like the her other early novels, this is somewhat episodic, and in my view somewhat less effective. A promising start gets somewhat diluted by a change in narrator later on. Nevertheless a interesting and uncompromising piece.
This is a story about a group of prostitutes who are being stalked by a serial killer. Barker captures the these women with realistic portrayals of their lives (both on and off the street) and dialog that rings true--even if you have never heard or spoken the language of prostitutes. It is very dark, has a few dappled scenes and very few light ones.
Well-written, but I prefer Pat Barker's WWI work. Though I think this is her first novel (or one of her first), so some allowances can be made.
Shirley Wells
Beautifully written, dark tale that follows the lives of prostitutes when a killer is on the loose.
Pat Barker at her ugliest is still a fine writer. But man, is this one ugly.
Powerful and gripping.
Chris Stanley
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Pat Barker was born in Thornaby-on-Tees in 1943. She was educated at the London School of Economics and has been a teacher of history and politics.

Her books include the highly acclaimed Regeneration trilogy Regeneration ; The Eye in the Door , winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize; and The Ghost Road , winner of the Booker Prize; as well as seven other novels. Pat Barker is married and lives in Du...more
More about Pat Barker...
Regeneration (Regeneration, #1) The Ghost Road (Regeneration, #3) The Eye in the Door (Regeneration, #2) Life Class Toby's Room

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