Derby Day

Derby Day

Book - 2011
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As the shadows lengthen over the June grass, all England is heading for Epsom Downs - high life and low life, society beauties and Whitechapel street girls, bookmakers and gypsies, hawkers and acrobats, punters and thieves. Whole families stream along the Surrey back-roads, towards the greatest race of the year. Hopes are high, nerves are taut, hats are tossed in the air - this is Derby Day.
Publisher: London : Chatto & Windus, 2011.
ISBN: 9780701183585
Characteristics: 405 p. ;,24 cm.


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martins_mom Feb 23, 2014

Wonderful Dickensian novel about gentlemen who are not quite gentlemen, ladies trying to be ladies and a lot of wheeling and dealing to make money on the greatest horse race of the season. Taylor has a great command of the language. I look forward to finding other books by this author.

Sep 06, 2013

Disappointing. Subtitled "A Victorian Mystery", Taylor is accurate in his details and vocabulary of the period, but has not captured the Victorian sensibility. It is too modern. As well, there is a diversity of characters, but there was not one central character and there were too many sub-plots. In the end, I was not that interested in the mystery.

May 30, 2013

Brilliant Victorian pastiche, with intriguing characters, effortless style, and faultless historical accuracy. Taylor starts slowly, then ratchets up the tension with a sure, unrelenting hand. The set-piece recounting of the Epsom Derby pulses with life and colour.

Although there are characters from every walk of life joined together by circumstance, it's not a Dickensian novel. Taylor seems more like Thackeray, observing with a cold eye and never letting much sentiment seep into his telling of the story. The atmosphere can feel pretty chilly, but he does have some feel for the pathos of his second-rate crooks and connivers. And Rebecca is a wonderful, sphinx-like creation who mystifies us right up to the last page.

Jul 19, 2012

This is a great book to get lost in. Taylor's use of period language had me running to the dictionary every other page. Refreshing to read something so Dickensian.

Apr 09, 2012

I found it tough to get into and gave up. The writer seemed to be too conscious of aiming for a simulation of Victorian style than a good read.

polar_bear Dec 01, 2011

On of my favorite authors. A splendid array of characters and deftly plotted. Some of the characters are repeats from Kept.

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