The Great Train Robbery
Lavish wealth and appalling poverty live side by side in Victorian London—and Edward Pierce easily navigates both worlds. Rich, handsome, and ingenious, he charms the city's most prominent citizens even as he plots the crime of his century, the daring theft of a fortune in gold. But even Pierce could not predict the consequences of an extraordinary robbery that targets the...more
Oh, how so very wrong I had been!
You can safely assume I kicked myself a fair number of times after I was about a quarter-way t...more
The book is fairly short, and reads even shorter, as the book maintains a quick pace from start to finish. One aspect of the book that I found particularly enjoyable was the way Crichton wove bits and pieces of information about the subsequent trial of the perpetrators throughout the main plot line to illustrate many of the clev...more
He's a very good writer with captivating storylines, dead on science, compelling plot and in depth characters, but...I feel like he gets tired of writing the same story or can't properly tie things together at the end so he has som...more
What I admire most about this book is Crichton's way of accounting the facts for the reader. He details certain pertinent facts, then shores that up with scenes of criminals meeting, discussing details and so on.
For myself, usually I find my mind drifting when mundane, but necessary tedious facts are needed to...more
The Great Train Robbery
Avon, Paperback, 2002.
12mo. xx+329 pp. Introduction by Michael Crichton, November 1974 [xiii-xx].
First published, 1975.
Delays and Difficulties
The Great Train Robbery
Arrest and Trial
I have read this book by sheer accident. I received it as a gift and, since I had seen and enjoyed the movie, I thought I might out of pure curiosity have a look at t...more
I possibly didn't enjoy it as much as I had anticipated because it was read in many, many small increments. We were on vacation, and I'd read about a pa...more
This true story set in Victorian London in 1855 is a beauty of a read. With Michael Crichton weaving his magic over the scene and Edward Pierce, mastermind and protagonist, we have an unbeatable combination. The author does wonders describing authentic period scenes and showing us the huge divide between the English middle class and the wretched poor in Victorian times. Edward Pierce wants 12,000 pounds sterling that will be sent by rail to fund the Crimean War. The obs...more
I am so glad that I did. I've always loved pop-history books and this is one of the better ones I've read. Granted, its 1975 publication date means that it does things a little diff...more
It happens in the 1850s Victorian England and Crichton does an awesome job of recreating the society, the location and the people. To dismiss this as a tale of mere thrills, robbery and some villains would be a very narrow view of it. You'll learn more about England's workings, the society back then, the prejudices involved...more
"A nineteenth-century version of The Sting...Crichton fascinates us."-- The New, York Times Book Review -- ReviewProduct Description
Lavish wealth and appalling poverty live side by side in Victorian London -- and Edward Pierce easily navigates both worlds. Rich, handsome, and ingenious, he charms the city's most prominent citizens even as he plots the crime of his century -- the daring theft of a fortune in gold.
But even Pierce could not predict the consequences of an extraordinary ro
This is a very interesting novel with a mixed theme of historical fiction and mystery. I had to do some quick research after reading to see what details were true and what came from the mind of the author. The...more
The Setting: The 1850's, Victorian England. Rich, colourful and detailed, this is one of the most dynamic periods of English history, forever loved by readers both young and old. It was a world of contradictions: beneath the aforementioned richness, lay the pall of poverty, sickness, prostitution and death, harboured by the ongoing Industrial Revolution. The author, Michael Chrichton flits so seamlessly between the two, that it creates a wonderfu...more
PB - This is an early Crichton (Pub 1975) and is a period piece set in the mid 1800s. It’s a combination of know facts and narrative by the author stitched together in an absorbing telling of a well planned robbery of a shipment of gold to pay the army fighting in Crimea.
There is an extensive use of the vernacular of the lower and criminal class of the period as well as translations. The planning by the principal character, one Edward Pierce is exacting and done over an extended time. I found it...more
The story is set in mid nineteenth century London, and is full of colorful characters, scallawags and buffoons alike. Crighton's digressions are like little historical nuggets. They enlighten, inform and entertain. The stor...more
I really liked the book a lot. It was more or less along
the same lines as the Ocean's series: witty, funny, intelligent and quite pacy. Like Ocean's, it is largely about a heist. The characters were pleasant and likeable. The anatomy of the heist was bri...more