Report on The Page Turners Meeting - Meeting, Thursday, 5 October 2017

“Wouldn’t say that I enjoyed it” and “A bit indifferent” were two of the comments made about the October book that The Page Turners reviewed. ‘Three Brothers ‘by Peter Ackroyd had most of us scrambling for some positives to say. Though by the end of our discussion, one member was heard to say that she might read it again having heard a bit more about the author and the observations made by other group members as to their interpretation of the book and its characters.
Three Brothers' follows the fortunes of Harry, Daniel and Sam Hanway, born on a post-war council estate in Camden Town. Marked out from the start by curious coincidence, each boy is forced to make his own way in the world - a world of dodgy deals and big business, of criminal gangs and crooked landlords, of newspaper magnates, back-biters and petty thieves. London is the backdrop and the connecting fabric of these three lives, reinforcing Ackroyd's grand theme that place and history create, surround and engulf us. (https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Three_Brothers.html?id=0kl_oAEACAAJ&redir_esc=y&hl=en)
Peter Ackroyd has written about London many times; the place and the people. He writes nonfiction and historical fiction (across the eras) with the city as the backdrop. He is an academic and his prose and use of language in novels can be burdensome. However Ackroyd does evoke time and place very well and this caused our group to talk about nurture v nature and how individuals respond to their environment. Three brothers, born in consecutive years on the same date, react so differently to the highs and lows of their lives.
A short read that some of us thought left too much unsaid. Some of the episodes in the book appeared to have been dropped in without them adding much to the story or leading the reader on to something more.
We rated the Three Brothers a rather mediocre 5.75
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