Book Review - Peter Ackroyd , Clerkenwell Tales
I've been a huge fan of Peters Non Fiction stuff for Years . His London Biography is an amazing book and I recently read London Under which was fantastic. He has published numerous Biographies my favourites being Dickens and Poe but he also publishes Fiction from time to time.
This for me has been hit and miss. Loved his retelling of Frankenstein but found Hawksmoor a tiresome boring Book. The plato papers is a little too odd but The Fall of Troy is brilliant.
Clerkenwell Tales therefore wasn't a gauranteed good read for me. On the other hand the Period its based in and the idea behind its structure were two things that appealed to me so i gave it a go.
Clerkenwell Tales borrows in some ways from The Canterbury Tales and each chapter borrows a name from the various tales and the structure of the book is built around this.
The book is set in london at the end of the 1300s , a massive period of instability with the crown exchanging hands and the seeds of the war of the roses being set.
Ackroyds greatest attribute as a writer of both fiction and non fiction shows through magnicintly in this book. He knows london better than most if not any and paints the Geography of the city spectacularly throughout the story.
The tale itself involves several layers of conspirsacy , sinful monks , nuns and bishops amongst other good characters. Well written , good use of language and London stands out as a great character but the story itself didn't completely grasp me and the ending was a a little too predictable.
Still a good read and i don't regreet picking it up.
I'd give it a 6.5 out of 10
His next book is back to the factual and is a History of England from Foundation which i greatly look forward too