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The Street Philosopher

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  218 ratings  ·  28 reviews
There was another war, some 150 years ago, which was unpopular at home -- the death rate shocking, the military strategy confused -- and the first on which the media had a major influence. The Street Philosopher -- the nineteenth-century term for a society writer, a gossip columnist -- captures this scene brilliantly. Ambitious young journalist Thomas Kitson arrives at the ...more
Paperback, 487 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2009)
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Maybe this book isn't for everyone, but it was perfect for me. I loved the witty sense of humor, the amusing, slightly annoying, defiantly antagonist Mr. Richard Cracknell, the hostile perfectionist Lieutenant Boyce, and their very serious yet somehow comedic rivalry that unfolds on the battle ground of the Crimean War.

I thought the author did a wonderful job of bringing each character he created to life, I loved them and hate them accordingly. Thomas Kitson, writer for the London Courier, has
i am overwhelmed, really. and really quite happy that i finished it finally. it is a good novel, very good even. however, i could only give it three stars because it took so much out of me emotionally. the author drew me in deeply and i felt deeply for the characters. given the amount of injustice, bad luck, forlorn hope and love, and descriptive battle (including bodily injuries and their aftermath) it was quite an ordeal.
i enjoyed reading words i hadn't for a while, it was pleasant to read a n
Maya Panika
To paraphrase Edmund Blackadder, this is a journalist's tale; a rollicking roller-coaster of a good read.

Set during and after the Crimean War, this is an historical novel of an unusual kind that heavily favours characterisation over tedious detail and blood. There is plenty of the latter, especially when the Crimean War is under way, but always with an eye to the teller of the tale – the eyes of five very different men and two women.

The novel switches back and forth between the events of the C
I had to stay home and asked my SO, who was going to Shibuya, to buy me something, whatever, at the BookOff. This is the book I got. I'm ashamed to admit I didn't know much about the Crimean War beforehand, so I'm happy I read this. The plot is quite unusual: it involves three war correspondents, an evil officer, his beautiful French wife, and a painting by Rafael, and the story is set in the Crimea and in Manchester after the war. Queen Victoria makes an appearance, and surprisingly there is no ...more
Jane Schoelkopf
Not the kind of book I usually find myself reading - all a bit gung-ho about the Crimean war, very blokey, i thought at first. But it held hidden secrets..! One of those books you just have to keep on reading to find out what happened next. The plot is fairly convoluted and the narrative jumps back and forth between different periods of time, but it held me gripped and a bit surprised at how easy it is to enjoy a different genre! And I learnt all about the Crimean War to boot!
Lucy Cokes
When this book sat on my 'to-read' shelf I seriously thought it was written by a woman: something about the design of the cover made me think it was going to be one of those romantic historical fictions - akin to Elizabeth Chadwick, maybe. How wrong I was!

Plampin's novel journeys from one side of the war to another, a war that maybe is looked over. It mentions in the back that the Crimea was a mixture of the Napoleonic wars and the First World War - and it is, in the way that our usual perceptio
The Street Philosopher – by Matthew Plampin

From the thickened grit of the Crimean War to the dimly lit and civilised streets of Manchester in the 1850s, author Matthew Plampin offers love, mud and almost everything between them, in his novel The Street Philosopher.

With the Russians now invading Turkey and the British on the front line, promising art critic for the London Courier, Thomas Kitson, has left the London lights and fashioned a life as a war reporter. Joined by his senior reporter Richa
Well I can't really write a very detailed review for this one as I couldn't encourage myself to finish it. According to the other reviews it does get better and maybe I should have stuck with it, but in general if a book hasn't grabbed my attention within the first fifty pages then it's never going to. I found this book slow, confusing as it jumps back and forward in terms of time and location and lacking in characterization. Maybe that is the reason I have never heard of Mathew Plampin before.
Kay Rose
Not usually my thing, but this book drew me in and kept me reading till the end! Love the characters and the Crimean setting was depicted really well - would certainly read more by Matthew Plampin if he's followed this up.
When I began reading this book, after the first few pages, I considered giving up or abandoning it because I didn't think it would be the sort of book that I would enjoy. Ultimately I did enjoy it, although I found the style a bit plodding and was put off initially by the very descriptive account of the Crimean war. I'm glad that I persevered with it, the story although a bit convoluted I did enjoy it in the end.

The style in which it is written moves backwards and forwards over time to build the
Michael Heath-Caldwell
A very well written book based on the Crimean War, delving rather sharply in to the problems of the British Army and Navy, and the rather tense relationship between leading officers that led to the Charge of the Light Brigade - in the wrong direction. More useful background information was in Hell Riders: The Truth about the Charge of the Light Brigade-which is a far more documentary book about the campaign.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A work of historical fiction, it explores the troubled relationships between two war correspondents covering the disastrous Crimean War in the 19th century, and the subsequent events that take place between them upon return to society. The book is an interesting take on the oftentimes rigid class distinctions in Victorian England, as seen both in the military (with often disastrous results) and within Victorian society. I recommend it as a page-turner that you won ...more
Martijn Onderwater
Uiteindelijk was dit best een leuk boek, met een pakkend verhaal, wat spanning, en flink wat vraagtekens. Persoonlijk vind ik het ook altijd leuk als, zoals in dit boek, meerdere verhaallijnen tegelijk gebracht worden. Helaas blijf ik toch moeite hebben met het lezen van vertalingen; ook in dit boek is duidelijk merkbaar dat sommige zinnen geen natuurlijk Nederlandse structuur hebben. Verder heeft de vertaler platte Engelse taal-accenten vertaald naar Nederlandse accenten, en dat komt erg kunstm ...more
Bit meh about this. Not a fan of the battle scenes.
I struggled with this book, but to be fair, probably many of my reading sessions for the first half of the book were a bit too short to allow myself to get into it. The characters are interesting (I should have kept a running list to keep them straight in my head), and I enjoyed the bits that focused on the characters and their relationships. I found the bits about the war to be a bit tedious, but I am not at all a war enthusiast
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janette Fleming
Wonderful book with a duel narrative one taking place during the Crimean War and the other in Manchester in 1857. You learn about the horrors of the disaster that was the Crimea and the war correspondences of the time. Full of strong, unforgettable characters and driven by a compulsive storyline.
Jay Aitch
This book was a real education for me as I didn't know a great deal about the Crimean war. Twists and turns, love and treachery all beautifully woven together by a skilled author. I'd recommend it but it's not an easy read, it's intense and at times exhausting but well worth reading.
I really enjoyed the way in which the story was presented in two different time-frames but was ultimately underwhelmed by the ending. A great read but I felt that it lacked the explosive ending that would have lifted it to being a classic.
Mar 04, 2009 Hywel added it
This historical thriller, set during the Crimean War, was written by a friend of mine and has only just been published, so I'm encouraging everyone to read it. Only three chapters in so far - will add more when I've made more progress.
Found this entertaining and a bit mind opening. I realise it is fiction but it made me wonder about the time of the Crimean War. I will be reading more about this war and the causes of it.
Sarah Churchill
I really struggled with this book, and kept leaving it half read to go and read something else. Maybe the first half of the book was too slow, but I just didn't want to finish it.
Mooi verhaal over de engelsen in de Krimoorlog. Goede beschrijvingen van de ontberingen tijdens deze oorlog en verschil tussen de elite en het gewone soldatenvolk.
Helen Wells
I didn't know much about the Crimean War, so this was an interesting read. Not completely gripping but well written.
Well written, just not my thing. I struggled to keep interest with the battle scenes. Good characters though.
A good holiday read, I was absorbed by this book with its twin stories.
Leigh Marsden
Matthew Plampin's descriptive language is second to none. Wonderful.
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Matthew Plampin was born in 1975 and grew up in Essex. He read English and History of Art at the University of Birmingham and then completed a PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. He now lectures on nineteenth-century art and architecture.
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