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Nineteen Eighty-Three (Red Riding Quartet #4)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,208 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
In Nineteen Eighty-Three, David Peace brings his astonishing series of riveting, gritty crime novels to a shocking conclusion.  With three separate narrators whose paths are on a collision course, Peace makes a dark study of perverted justice, retribution, and urban decay.  Maurice Jobson is a Yorkshire cop whose greed and corruption has rotted the police force to the core ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 9th 2010 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published 2002)
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Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the finale in the Red Riding Quartet and none of the books are stand alone stories, so, before you think of reading this, you must first read the three preceeding novels: Red Riding Nineteen Seventy Four (Red Riding Quartet), Red Riding Nineteen Seventy Seven: Red Riding Quartet and Red Riding Nineteen Eighty: Red Riding Quartet. If you have already read those novels, then this is the dark, violent dreamscape that makes up the final novel and you will already know the themes and characte ...more
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
The cover of my edition screams 'uncompromisingly brutal' and never a truer word could have been spoken about this book, this series, this history of modern Bloody Britain, the lives of these men and the fourteen year circling of the drain that they are all irresistably sucked towards.

If two seperate narrators in 1977 wasn't good enough for you (or confusing enough for some readers for some reason) Peace comes out with both (literary) barrels loaded offering up three minor characters from the p
Black Dog Reviews
It’s impossible to talk about David Peace’s 1983 without putting into context as the final installment of the Red Riding Quartet. The first three novels in the quartet (1974, 1977, and 1980) tell the stories of both the Yorkshire Ripper and a child rapist/murderer. Each novel is told from different viewpoints from the novels before. In 1983, the story is told through three viewpoints: Maurice Jobson, high ranking police officer, John Piggott, Lawyer, and BJ, male prostitute. These three have the ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Peace’s ‘Red Riding’ quartet of books (‘1974’, ‘1977’, ‘1980’ and ‘1983’ respectively) provides us with an extremely intense, dark, brooding and menacing series of connected stories.

Set against the backdrop of Yorkshire (where Peace grew up) the books have the notorious ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ murders (1975-80) as an underlying, but almost omnipresent theme throughout.

These are hard books about hard people and hard lives with hard themes of murder, corruption, sexual obsession, sadism and then
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, noir
Intense, powerful, grim, dismal, violent, vulgar, glorious fiction. The best kind of crime, the best kind of noir, the best kind of detection. Nobody is good, nobody is clean, nobody deserves sympathy or kindness or second chances.

Three viewpoints, and three point-of-view styles, of which the most illuminating was Morris Jobson: the Owl, the background man, the one there from the start. A dingy portrait of a man too weak and too self-interested to do what he knows, deeply and violently, to be ri
Andrés Silva
Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[Note: This is a review of the full Red Riding Quartet]

I would like to give a 5-star rating to this series but, in the end, I can't. In two brief sentences: (1) I truly enjoyed the ride but (2) I am not sure if I liked the destination.

(1) I enjoyed the ride because, stylistically, it is very addictive. David Peace's use of the "train of thought", repetitions and small phrases is lively and top-notch. The narration has good rythm, only occasionally disrupted by the memoristic burden put on the
Carole Tyrrell
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the final book in the Red Riding Quartet and I was anticipating plenty of tying up of loose ends and perhaps a happy ending of sorts. But I knew that in Peace’s world this wasn’t how the Quartet would end. Its strands interweave and connect briefly but in some ways there’s no ending to the pain which is much truer to life.
BJ, the rent boy from 1974, re-appears as he goes on the run with Clare Morrison after the shoot-out at the Strafford Arms. A huge cover-up which dominated 1980 and it
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Peace's "Red Riding Quartet", of which this is the final volume, is one of the most amazing and powerful works of English literature of the 21st century so far. It is a cycle of novels - literally, in that it continually explicates and rounds on itself - based on the very real horror of child abduction and murder in the wake of the Moors Murders of the 1960s and the Yorkshire Ripper's reign of terror in the 70s. Peace is local to West Yorkshire and knows in his bones the places, the people ...more
May 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
None of the Red Riding quartet stand well on their own - they can only really be read as a collected work. The overall theme of the enormous cost in human lives and immense suffering of hypocrisy and corruption is interesting and well developed. The books use a fascinating device of shifting point of view from one novel to the next, both in terms of character and time, to develop that theme and gradually fill in the broader story. For instance, a character seen only as an antagonist in 1974 beco ...more
Richard Wright
The last of the Red Riding Quartet, and probably the least satisfying. Despite being set in eighty-three, much of the plot transpires in the sixties and seventies, jumping back and forward like a hyperactive child, weaving through the plots of the previous books and recontextualising them. It's a gruelling, exhausting read, and while it just about makes a new plot out of tying up previous loose ends, the ride is by now familiar and strained. The characters are ruined and broken by the end, as yo ...more
Neil Powell
A cracking quartet of novels, but I feel a little let down by the ending to the series. It employs several clever tools to move the story along; 3 strands with 3 characters, each strand written using a different narritive style (Jobson - 1st Person, Piggott 2nd Person, BJ 3rd Person), and the way that one strand brings the story together; one set before the first novel (pre 1974), one tells the unseen tales from the end of 1974 through to the final book, and one based in the "present". These mix ...more
Sep 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This finishes the quartet. I don't normally read this sort of stuff - it is uber violent and unrelentingly brutal. I wouldn't recommend it to my mother, let's put it that way.

But there's something compelling about this writer, and no matter how much I winced, I couldn't put the books down. And I guess it's also the nostalgia factor - this takes people of a certain age right back to the end of the Callaghan years to the start of the Thatcher years, when the 1970's bled into the horrible heartless
Apr 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 2009
I'm not really sure why it's taken me so long to finish this book off. It was still as pacy and exciting as the first three novels in the Red Riding Quartet.

Perhaps I was reluctant to end this roller coaster journey and was trying to prolong the enjoyment.

1983 certainly pulls all the strands together and we see other sides to characters previously introduced.

I'm left wondering what to read next, as little will compare to this...
Mar 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Well I am at the end of the darkest series of books i have read for a long time. The loose ends from the earlier books are tied up and you are quite glad to be leaving Peaces Yorkshire.This is very well written and he gets into the minds of his characters very well.Based on real events as well so you feel the power of the story telling,and it is very gripping.
Irmak Ertuna-howison
a somewhat disappointing ending to the series even though some loose ends are tied.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One hell of a series.
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Apr 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Hello from back seat hard on last bus home, one that got away and live to tell the tale...motorways and car parks, from parks and toilets, idle rich and unemployed... from pictures and tapes, murders and rapes, from whispers and rumors, cancers and tumors, from badgers and owls, wolves and swans--"

David Peace's engrossing, perplexing, haunting epic of 1970s and 1980s Yorkshire at last comes to a suitably bloody end with Nineteen Eighty-Three. Like Nineteen Seventy-Seven, this fourth and final v
Nineteen Eighty-Three is also not about the Yorkshire Ripper case, like the first novel in this series, Nineteen Seventy-Four. It instead follows another missing child case, similar to the ones detailed in the first novel. Unlike all of the previous novels, though, this one takes us back to before the events of the first book so that we finally get a complete picture of the entire series.

In 1983, we once again have multiple perspectives. This time it's from Det. Maurice Jobson, the Chief Superin
Sian Wadey
Nineteen Eighty Three is the final book in the Red Riding Quartet and there's only one word to describe it. Sublime.
David Peace is a phenomenal writer. His writing style is quick, slick and draws you in. I find myself sucked into the hazy world of corrupt cops, earnest lawyers and journalists fighting for the truth.
The characters he writes are all flawed, there are no Hollywood heroes here, which makes more for the interesting read.
The narrative is led by three individuals, policeman Maurice J
Oct 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
1983 is the final book in the four part series, 1974, 1977, 1980. and 1983 about a series of grisly murders of young girls and prostitutes in the Yorkshire area of northern England taking place around the time of the real Yorkshire Ripper murder spree. The four books were made into an equally searing three part movie entitled "Red Riding" (which is another term used to describe that part of England). The movie was so well done that I felt compelled to read the books. Since there were some change ...more
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As ever the writing is great but the subject matter is very grim. Although, this felt less heavy to work through than the previous three, partly because of the resolutions we get to the story and answers.

I spent at lot of time going back to the earlier books to cross-reference events here and it was interesting to see how everything interlocked.
Helen Billington
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2013
The final episode of David Peace's Red Riding Quartet was not disappointing. The pace of the evolving and, at the same time, untangling of the various plot lines from the previous three books kept me enthralled. In fact I was surprised that so many elements of the plot were resolved. I think I expected the horror and corruption to continue unchecked. Of course we do not find out if there is ever any justice or retribution for all of the damaged lives, death and miscarriages of justice. Will the ...more
Nov 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This quartet of books has been a troublesome one to review. I have read them over a number of years following my having watched the excellent Channel 4 series which was a trilogy and missed out 1977. There is no doubt that as a piece of literary fiction in the crime genre they are very good, Peace plays with the reader's sensibilities and his expectation of narrative plot, thus we are inside the heads of the characters and they are generally an appalling bunch. In the final book 1983 we see thre ...more
Dec 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, kindle
I'll review the entire Red Riding Quartet, since the books really compose one large narrative.

David Peace takes us into one of the bleakest worlds I've encountered even in the most hard-boiled detective literature -- northern England from 1974-1983 (with some flashes back into an equally dismal late 60s) in which a child abductor and killer is running rampant, the Yorkshire Ripper is terrorizing the region, and the police force is hopelessly corrupt and in bed with some very bad businessmen. Squ
I...don't really know what happened here. And I was paying a reasonable amount of attention. I'm beginning to suspect, however, that this is the way its supposed to be. The point of this series is not solving "the mystery" (there may even be less of a mystery than I thought--could it be that I was paying less attention all along than I thought I was? is this supposed to be what readers experience? is this why everyone has the same name? is this why everyone knows everything and nothing? gah!), t ...more
Feb 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In my review of ‘Nineteen Eighty’ I said that I was beginning to see how the formula of these books worked. And maybe Peace felt the same way, as this is by far the most ambitious of the tetralogy. Even having read the previous books, it was impossible for me to tell how it would end up. There are three protagonists – solicitor John Pigott, policeman Maurice Jobson and rent-boy BJ – who are, in the main, observed at different points of time but all seem to be following the same path.

This is a f
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everything comes to a head in this final volume, and most questions are answered. Unfortunately, either my edition didn't come with the necessary codex or Peace is just not going to make it easy to understand just what the hell happened in this series after all! The answer to the biggest question (just what has been happening to the young girls who've disappeared over the years?) is either painfully simple or mind-bogglingly complex. I won't give anything away, I'm sure, by saying that there is ...more
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another ugly but entrancing entry to the Red Riding series, bringing the almost decade long timeline of the series to a destructive conclusion. The narration is split between three characters this time around (previous entries have gone with one or two); it sounds impossible, given the stream-of-consciousness style of Peace's writing, but it works well if you've followed the story through the three previous novels. Peace plays around with chronology, using the characters to jump between past and ...more
Patrick McCoy
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
The final installment of the Red Riding series, Nineteen Eighty Three, ties together all the lose thread of David Peace's tales of evil, corruption, and the battles against these forces. The novel is narrated by three different characters: Maurice Jobson a member of the corrupt Yorkshire police force with a weakening conscience, BJ a street urchin and rent boy, and John Piggot lawyer and son of a former Yorkshire cop. I guess it is inevitable that this book would be one of the high points since ...more
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The Red Riding Quartet - spoiler question 2 27 Oct 08, 2011 06:23PM  
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David Peace was born in 1967 and grew up in Ossett, near Wakefield. He left Manchester Polytechnic in 1991, and went to Istanbul to teach English. In 1994 he took up a teaching post in Tokyo and now lives there with his family.

His formative years were shadowed by the activities of the Yorkshire Ripper, and this had a profound influence on him which led to a strong interest in crime. His quartet of
More about David Peace...

Other Books in the Series

Red Riding Quartet (4 books)
  • Nineteen Seventy Four (Red Riding, #1)
  • Nineteen Seventy Seven (Red Riding, #2)
  • Nineteen Eighty (Red Riding, #3)