GB84 by David Peace - review by The Miner's Tale

The Miner's Tale

The Miner’s Tale



Faber & Faber 465pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

DAVID PEACE BEGAN the first novel of his acclaimed Red Riding Quartet, about the Ripper killings and other grim goings-on in Yorkshire in the 1970s and 1980s, with a quotation from Harry S Truman: 'The only thing new in this world is the history you don't know.' It is a statement that illuminates much about Peace's purpose - particularly his interest in grounding his fiction in the verifiable, in order to get at the unverifiable: speculative history that could not be told in another setting. In this book about the miners' strike of 1984, telling a story he describes as 'a fiction, based on a fact', Peace ranges beyond the history we know - the television images of police and pickets battling in the sunshine - into a secretive world of murk and mendacity.

The action of GB84 shifts in jagged cuts between the darkening NUM head offices in Sheffield, the plush London hotel rooms of government fixers, and the fugitive meetings of spooks and their hired boot boys, as peace traces the course of the dispute from its beginning twenty years ago this

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