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The Crust on Its Uppers

3.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  51 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Those who search for brilliantly written mystery novels exchange the same few names when they meet— names unknown (except for Chandler and Hammett) to general literary readers. If you’re one of those seekers you know Derek Raymond, author of bleak yet intriguing, compellingly narrated novels of murder in England. Raymond’s forgotten first novel, The Crust on Its Uppers is
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 1st 2000 by Serpent's Tail (first published September 10th 1982)
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K.A. Laity
Jun 14, 2014 K.A. Laity rated it it was amazing
Derek Raymond is generally acknowledged as the godfather of Brit Grit, based on his ruthlessly dark novels like I was Dora Suarez, but there’s a sheer delight in this earlier work that doesn’t seem to get the same love, maybe because it’s not as hard-boiled. Admittedly, the narrative is a bit elliptical. The central dodgy heist doesn’t really get going until late in the novel.

But the chief difficulty for readers both contemporary and modern is probably what I like best about it: the language.

I l
Dead John Williams
Jul 06, 2015 Dead John Williams rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-favs, reviewed
Crust on Its Uppers (A Five Star Title) Well, this was interesting, hailed as his forgotten first novel it certainly deserves to be remembered and read.If I described it the tone of the novel as "Oh I say, that is simply frightfully terrible old chap" meets "Orl right then geezer" or the drift as The Saint meets Lock Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels you may get some idea.Upper Class dropouts on a crime spree, cudgels and cocktails, drugs and evening dress, aristocracy and arseholes.Once you get the d ...more
Dec 23, 2009 Tony rated it did not like it
Raymond, Derek. THE CRUST ON ITS UPPERS. (1962). *. First published in 1962, the author (born Robin Cook in 1931; aka used so as not be confused with the real Robin Cook) tells the story of three men and their failed deal to distribute counterfit money in England that was printed in Russia. Two of the three men were supposedly from the British upper classes and flunked out of the best British public schools and have taken up a trade that only requires a large degree of street smarts. Their trade ...more
Mar 26, 2012 Simon rated it really liked it
The Crust On Its Uppers & The Suarez Seance bejesus
Sat, July 19,2008 07:51:02AM
The Crust On its Uppers by Derek Raymond and The
Suarez Seance at the Horse Hospital Off Russell
Square London 17.7.08. Featuring Gallon Drunk
with Richard Strange, Cathy Unsworth, Maxim

This show was a seance to summon up the spirit
of Derek Raymond and to celebrate the re-isssue
of his seminal novel and the album with Gallon
Drunk "I Was Dora Suarez" that he recorded with
them in 1993 shortly before hi
Mar 29, 2008 Vudi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, it took me forever to get through this one, and it's not Derek Raymond's fault. Just finished (for now) 2 months of 16 hour workdays, followed by enough alcohol to be nice to people just long enough to try and get some sleep. No complaints, save that it leaves little time to read.
There's something infuriating about Raymond, and it may be the thing that makes him worth reading. He's a good crime writer, and his depictions of the criminal underworld in 60s & 70s London are cinematic, al
Guy Salvidge
Nov 16, 2015 Guy Salvidge rated it it was ok
Raymond's first novel, published in 1962, doesn't have a great deal to recommend it, frankly. The rest of his early novels have never been reprinted, so I don't think I'll bother paying an arm and a leg for secondhand copies. It isn't a terrible novel, but it's gimmicky with the ridiculous slang (which doesn't work nearly as well as in A Clockwork Orange) and, worse, the actual plot doesn't really get going until the second half. This is all self-indulgent twaddle and a long, long way away from ...more
Ian Mapp
Apr 09, 2009 Ian Mapp rated it it was ok
What a hoot. Written in 1962 in Raymond first career as a novelist, this is written in the stongest most over the top cockerney dialect its untrue. There is even a dictionary of terms at the front, but I am fairly sure noone uses the term scotches to refer to legs. What are scotch pegs?

The cockney patoir is really over the top at the beginning... reminding me of a clockwork orange and getting in the way of understanding the story. However, this soon settles down and is much less OTT from about 1
Aug 23, 2014 Jan rated it it was ok
Not his best, but quite exciting once I got past the first couple of chapters with their excess of 1960s gang speak and rhyming slang. It was like reading an early Michael Caine film, a bit cheesy, a bit lairy, but the underlying story was good fun.
Feb 06, 2011 Robin rated it it was ok
This Derek Raymond crime story has a big rep, and that's what sold it to me. But I didn't like it. Toffs who want to do a bit of blagging just didn't grab me by the lapels. The criminal argot used (there is a glossary) is dated and pretty irritating – unappealing posh guys talking about 'boat races' and jam jars' every other word became wearing. The main 'morrie' has a distinctive voice and was a rounded character – I just didn't like him or care.
Jun 20, 2008 Tosh rated it liked it
Derek Raymond is the 'Govnor' of British Crime fiction. Also he has a 'poetic' style with respect to the lowlife's that are in his books. Good police narration mixed with the grit of London.
Jeremy Marsh
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Aka Robin Cook.

Pen name for Robert William Arthur Cook. Born into privilege, Raymond attended Eton before completing his National Service. Raymond moved to France in the 50's before eventually returning to London in the 60's. His first book, 'Crust on its Uppers,' released in 1962 under his real name, was well-received but brought few sales. Moving through Italy he abandoned writing before returni
More about Derek Raymond...

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“You Englishmen,’ said Herr Wurter. ‘You are all the same. Wherever you are you behave as if you were at home and your word was law.” 0 likes
“A quick butchers shows up Old Bill three-handed, also a particularly nasty female grass–-and if looks were acid baths the two she collects from us would reduce her to gristle quicker than Mrs. Durand-Deacon.” 0 likes
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