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Three Brothers by Peter Ackroyd

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

No one writes London quite like Peter Ackroyd. This is the London of the swinging sixties, of

Carnaby Street, Harold Wilson, Christine Keeler and the Krays, but it’s also the London of post-war dereliction and regeneration, slums and bomb sites not yet rebuilt. Against this backdrop is the story of three brothers coincidentally born on the same day at the same time, just in different years. Intriguing, but not Ackroyd at his best.

If you like Peter Ackroyd you might also like to read books by Andrew Miller, Iain Pears and Barry Unsworth.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Harry, Dan and Sam are brothers born in consecutive years on the same day, each delivered exactly at midday, which leads the local newspaper to comment on the coincidence and even to speculate on whether the boys had some special quality or relationship. However, abandoned by their mother and brought up by their distant, dreaming father they drift apart. Ackroyd writes about the capital, from Camden to Chelsea, like no-one else and captures the sense of the sixties perfectly, with high-society and low-life London so dangerously close. Full of twists and turns, this is Ackroyd’s most exciting novel to date.
~ The Good Book Guide


Three Brothers by Peter Ackroyd

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. From bustling, cut-throat Fleet Street to hallowed London publishing houses, from the wealth and corruption of Chelsea to the smoky shadows of Limehouse and Hackney, this is an exploration of the city, peering down its streets, riding on its underground, and drinking in its pubs and clubs. Everything is possible - not only in the new freedom of the 1960s but also in London's timeless past.

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'A camp clever tour de force... an alternative autobiography, a ghost story and a murder mystery all in one slim volume. Brilliant... the quintessence of Ackroyd.'

-Sunday Telegraph

'A book full of rich and sudden moments of delight.'

-The Scotsman

'Harking back to Dickens... London is a major character in the novel. In Ackroyd's accomplished hands the city becomes a mystical place, where visions abound. Highly recommended.'

-Daily Mail

* Cultural pick of the week *

-Mail on Sunday

'Ackroyd is that timeless figure, a man of letters, dipped in ink, apparently versatile in a breathtaking variety of genres.'


About the Author

Peter Ackroyd

Peter Ackroyd is of course a Cockney visionary himself. He has written and presented a 3-part TV series for the BBC on London and few of his prize-winning biographies and novels stray far from his London obsessions - Turner was one of the subjects of a lecture that Ackroyd gave at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1993 (also televised) entitled London Luminaries and Cockney Visionaries; and Turner was also central to his Times article on Reflections on British art. He is the author of the acclaimed non-fiction bestsellers, Thames: Sacred River and London: The Biography. He holds a CBE for services to literature.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st December 2014


Peter Ackroyd

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Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing


256 pages


Family Drama
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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