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The Take

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  2,545 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Freddie Jackson thinks he owns the underworld when he gets out of prison. He's done his time, made the right connections, and now he's ready to use them. His wife Jackie just wants her husband home, but she's forgotten the rows, the violence, and the girls Freddie can't leave alone. Bitter, resentful, and increasingly unstable, Jackie watches her life crumble while her lit ...more
Paperback, 661 pages
Published June 5th 2006 by Headline (first published January 1st 2005)
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Jacquie South
Maybe a bit generous giving this 2 stars - it's getting the second star only because, like a terrible train wreck, you want to walk away, but you can't!
The whole basis of this book was, for me, awful. The characters were horrible in the extreme, the action violent and shocking, the storyline miserable and predictable, and the actual writing was poor. Cole seems to think that the readers of her book are stupid, as she explains things in the greatest detail, over and over again. We get it!! We re
The Take is a page turner from the onset. Freddie Jackson is the kind of antagonist who keeps the reader guessing. You never truly know what this insatiably unstable character that Martina Cole created will do next. At one step, you realize what the character is capable of, yet, his debauchery, knowing no bounds, becomes more and more surprising as you read. You’re left in awe of the power of Cole’s scenes as the flawed characters make their way through the story, causing unending debris in thei ...more
Nora Beaman
I actually had a really hard time getting into this novel. I'd seen the BBC film version starring Tom Hardy and was intrigued with the characters so I picked up the book. Despite taking awhile to get into once I did I couldn't put this book down. The film and book couldn't have been more different and I actually preferred the novels ending. Freddie Jackson is that quintessential character that you love to hate. He's a drug snorting beer guzzling philandering murdered but you can't help turning t ...more

Not as good as others she has written, tends to repeat herself in places.
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Freddie Jackson thinks he owns the underworld when he gets out of prison. He’s done his time, made the right connections, and now he’s ready to use them. His wife Jackie just wants her husband home, but she’s forgotten the rows, the violence, and the girls Freddie can’t leave alone. Bitter, resentful, and increasingly unstable, Jackie watches her life crumble while her little sister Maggie’s star rises. In love with Freddie’s cousin Jimmy, Maggie is determined not to end up like her sister. Fam
Jan 03, 2013 Ryan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of intense crime novels and the TV mini-series.
Recommended to Ryan by: No one, became interested in reading it after seeing the four-part mini-series.
I was instantly scavenging for anything with actor Tom Hardy in it after seeing his extraordinary performance in "Bronson" and his scene-stealing part in Christopher Nolan's "Inception". So soon after finding out about the four-part mini-series called "The Take" starring him, I immediately sought out to watch it. I loved every episode, and was blown away by Hardy's performance in it. I couldn't help but read the novel of the same name. It pretty much had the same effect on me as the mini-series, ...more
Stan Armiger
I had a love hate relationship with this book, sometimes I could not put it down and and then I would find myself scan reading passages. This occured when the author to me seemed to repeat herself at length on describing characters and relationships and this caused me to think "I know all that, just get on with it.' Otherwise not a bad read.
Sexism, even if it's deliberate sexism as I presume it is in this book, is fucking irritating. Women are constantly insulted and abused. A prostitute is raped and murdered? Oh who cares? She basically begged for it! Maggie is raped by her sociopath brother-in-law? Guess who's to blame there! Wives are expected to get beaten, get cheated on and do nothing but keep their mouths shut. A man can sleep around all he wants, father as many 'outside' children as he wants but if a women even looks at ano ...more
A good read about sibling rivalry set in the criminal underclass of East London. Freddie Jackson leaves prison having made contact with a major criminal Ozzy who runs his empire from within the gaol. Acting as Ozzy's lieutenant Freddie chooses his young cousin Jimmy to act as a go-between because Jimmy has no criminal record. But over time Jimmy gains Ozzy's respect and trust.

The two gangsters are married to sisters. Freddie's wife is dependant upon drink and drugs and very jealous of her siste
This was an exhausting book, but I loved it nonetheless. I originally saw the BBC miniseries but this book builds on so much that I'd have to say the miniseries only has about 25% of the novel along with a COMPLETELY different ending. They're both worth checking out if only because the meaning and tone changes so drastically. The character of Freddie Jackson is probably the worst person in history, yet there's always his attempts to rationalize everything. In fact all the characters rationalize ...more
I have read all of Martina Cole's novels. There is no point reviewing them all because they follow a similar plot. However The Take is with out doubt my favourite. As gritty as grit could ever be. Characters you despise. Characters you should despise. Women you love, Women you pity. Women you recognise. But the men are always responsible for the carnage. Freddy and Jimmy Jackson are two of Cole's best characters. Tom Hardy played Freddy to a tea in Sky One's version. However son't watch it befor ...more
Absolutly addictive! This is the second book I have read of Martina Cole's, and it looks like am becoming a fan of hers. Excellent book. Londoners underground crime... love it! looking in to Martina's next book to read!

Update-Just watch the DVD. The book was excellent and I must admit I had didn't think a film would do it credit. Well I was wrong! The DVD of four part series was excellent. Am glad this film did Cole proud. Best to read this book first then watch the film. Ten Stars for this book
David Proffitt
“The Take” by Martina Cole
Martina Cole has a reputation for writing gritty, down to earth novels set in the seedier side of London. I have read only one of her books before but she is a firm favourite of a relative who has passed a couple onto me recently, including this one.

The Take is the story of one family, the Jackson’s. At the centre of the story are Cousins Freddie and Jimmy. Fresh out of prison, Freddie is determined to make a name for himself using the contacts he made on the inside. Te
After watching both The Take and The Runaway, I was excited to get my hands on a copy of this and getting to grips with the writing of Martina Cole. I was really disappointed with this book, which I felt dragged on too much and the plot (which is actually very good) got lost somewhere in between. The repetition drove me crazy - she kept repeating characters feelings and thoughts and in the end it felt extremely patronising (I got it the first time, thank you) as well as certain phrases like 'any ...more
Ethan Spier
The story is good, if a little predictable in places, and it keeps you wanting to read and find out what is going to happen to these characters. The two stars I'm awarding this book are entirely due to the story.

There is one major problem with this book and that is the endless repetition and the frustrating way the author seems to want to make points again and again. It feels as if she actually cut and pasted passages of text several times in order to endlessly hammer in certain points
Mel Horne
I read this as part of World Book Night. I found it quite hard going and it took a long time before the characters captured my interest. I found the constant crude language a distraction and it took a while to ignore it and flow with the story . I am pleased that World Book Night made me try something new, but am not sure I will be rushing out to get the next Martina Cole book.
I am a huge fan of the tv adaptation of the take so I was really excited to read the book. It was just what I expected, yes it's not a work of lyrical art, it's gritty and it's written as in you are actually in London not just looking from the outside.

I did skip some bits out of repetition and the swearing shocked even me (and my family are bad!) but overall I really enjoyed it.
Another of my favourite Martina Coles ok I may seem weird for saying it but I love the ones that shock you, the ones that deal with issues you don't want to face up to in the real world. The things we brush aside and pretend like they don't happen. The take has all of this and more if it was a film it would have the tag line 'some viewers may find some scenes upsetting'
Read On

Set in London during the mid 80s, this novel spans 3 decades.
The story centres around young sociopathic Freddie Jackson, who has just served his time in prison, but while in there he was taken under the wing of mega infamous gangster Ozzy. It is unlikely Ozzy will ever get out so he needs someone to run his organised criminal empire while he is inside. He believes Frankie is up to the job and entrusts him with the operations of his underhand businesses on the outside.
Frankie has a younger cousin
It was a well set out book. I was really into it. Then I watched the drama on telling. That was shit.
Nicola Terry
Not one her best books, i found it quite boring in most parts and very nearly gave up on it.
i watched the drama of this on tv so decided that i must read it! as like most films/dramas the books are so much better!...but.....i was very dissapointed with this book!

I found that Martina Coles writing was horrendous she repeated herself continuously and as much as i wanted to really love this book i just couldn't! and i found it such a shame!!

Siobhan O' Sullivan
what to say about this book, I liked the story line and the characters except Maggie who annoyed me because Cole tried to make her out as a saint even though she was a gangsters wife and all her businesses were based on the drug money Ozzie gave her as a wedding gift. Freddie Jackson is an awesome character, the one we love to hate! psychotic and yet loveable. Cole is not my favourite writer sometimes I feel that she treats the readers like children and repeats herself over and over again in-cas ...more
Yolanda Ambrose
I felt so lost after finishing this book. This was my first ever Martina Cole book to read, and I loved every word of it. So addictive. She made the characters come to life and kept me on the edge of my seat. The ending was a little bit corny but i'll let that slide
Evil, evil, evil, the whole family is evil and I love them all!!! How is it possible to have an affinity to a character who is rotten to the core? I don't know!! Skillful writing by the author gives you a little spark in even the worst of characters.
Claire Levy
Really good book with a good story and a character we love to hate.
If you like London gangsters and the trail of destruction that it inflicts on the lives of those that surround them with a particularly dark side story - this is for you!
Previously I read Martina Coles, 'The Runaway' and loved it.. This book however I did not love. The first few chapters are rather confusing as character after character is introduced so quickly its hard to remember who is who.

At 600 pages long it wasn't until the last 200 that I really got into it and then finally I couldn't put it down for wanting to know what happened next.

Finally the thing that annoyed me the most about this book was the fact Martina doesn't half go on an on a bit when desc
Wesam Hamdy
the book is amazing. one of these catching novels that you can't put it down.
I love it even more because I watched the series first and what blows my mind is the different ending. both Ends are perfect for the storyline. Also I'd like to thank whoever do the casting for the series. they really did great work, casting tom hardy, charlotte riley and Kierston Wareing as freddie, maggie and jackie. every single description for their characters totally fits them and they did perfect work portraying t
Clare Roe
Excellent book, I missed the televised version but was told it was no where near as good as the book, my first Martian Cole experience now I'm hooked
Kate Butler
It took a while for me to realise that there isn't an actual story to this book. The book itself however, is well written but not my cup of tea.
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Martina Cole was born and brought up in Essex. She is the bestselling author of fourteen novels set in London's gangland, and her most recent three paperbacks have gone straight to No. 1 in the Sunday Times on first publication. Total sales of Martina's novels stand at over eight million copies.

More about Martina Cole...
The Ladykiller The Runaway Dangerous Lady (Maura Ryan, #1) Two Women Maura's Game (Maura Ryan, #2)

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