Tales from (near) the riverbank

28 03 2007

The Clerkenwell Tales by Peter Ackroyd

Clerkenwell

4 star

14th C London and death, religion, sedition and general bizarre naughtiness and intrigue seem to be the order of the day. The narrative fairly charges along and the device of using a series of interconnected character-led yarns works extremely well (although not really very Canterbury Tales despite the timing and character names, Wife of Bath etc).

The novel is rich in historical detail (accurate I assume) but this never really distracts from a really good story. Fortunately the edition I read did not have on the cover “If you like Umberto Eco and Geoffrey Chaucer then you’ll love this” or anything like it. Anyway, first excursion into Ackroyd was extremely enjoyable and is recommended.

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