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This book deals with the people who struggle to survive in, and the people who run, the sex industry. To paraphrase the Beatles, it's a dirty novel of a dirty business. A business that turns the children who survive their initiation into this depraved world into the abusers of the future.
If it has a fault (other than the hard to swallow violence) it is promoting the ideal of 'good' criminals over 'bad' ones.
Martina Cole writes with conviction about the complexities of life as a prostitute in a world of sadism, crime and casual violence. She manages to make her characters three dimensional, showing the humanity in brutalised people as well as the inhumanity.
A book for people with a strong stomach. It is bleak, depressing and powerful. You cannot help being moved by the compassion and resilience of its main character, Joanie, or by the conflicting elements good and evil in its many players.
The reader is excellent and brings shocking life to this Booker listed epic.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
What did you like most about The Know?
Its pace. Kept me reading and making me annoyed when I had to stop to get dinner for the family. Good Essex girl is Martina - enjoy most of her books.
What other book might you compare The Know to, and why?
Sorry - can't remember names of books once I've read them.
Have you listened to any of Annie Aldington’s other performances? How does this one compare?
No, I haven't but she is perfect for this author's style.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Martina involved us in the central family's world and made us sympathize despite some of its members not being very good people. As a mother, I couldn't stop a tear or two flowing when the mother lost her child. Every woman's greatest fear.
Any additional comments?
Jane Austen, she aint - but for a good rollicking read without having to work too hard, she suits me.
Eng Lit Lecturer
1 of 1 people found this review helpful