The Clerkenwell Tales

by Peter Ackroyd | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0749386304 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Fellraven of Redditch, Worcestershire United Kingdom on 6/19/2004
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11 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Fellraven from Redditch, Worcestershire United Kingdom on Saturday, June 19, 2004
Acquired on a 3 for 2 offer.

Journal Entry 2 by Fellraven from Redditch, Worcestershire United Kingdom on Wednesday, August 11, 2004
This is the first novel I've read by Ackroyd, though I'm familiar with his more famous work "Hawksmoor" which has been adapted as radio drama.

"The Clerkenwell Tales" is a relatively short work, some 205 pages and a few pages of explanatory notes, but it manages to pack a lot of action in nevertheless. Essentially a political thriller set against the turbulent events of the end of Richard II's reign in 1399, it weaves threads of heresy, murder and intrigue into a coherent whole.

One novel (ahem) factor is Ackroyd's shameless hijacking of many, if not most, of the characters familiar as the pilgrims of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" who here are fleshed out and given specific identities as the players in the action and on whom, chapter by chapter, the story focuses in turn.

This book was almost worth an 8 but was reluctantly marked down a notch due to several moments in which Ackroyd's hand is clumsy and intrusive in commenting on the action or implications for the plot of some development or other. It remains an easy and pleasing read however and whiles away a few hours.

Journal Entry 3 by londonmet from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Monday, August 16, 2004
This has arrived already. Great! Now I have to leave it alone till I've finished my dissertation - must...not...read...interesting...book...

Journal Entry 4 by londonmet from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Saturday, September 11, 2004
This was an interesting read. Fun to see how he's cast each of the Canterbury Pilgrims, and fascinating to learn of the terrorist heretics and the secret societies. As I work within the City of London, the names of streets and places resonated with me - I was forever going "hey! I know Fetter Lane..." etc. Overall, this was clever rather than engrossing - sometimes Ackroyd displays his research a bit too ostentatiously - but the breadth of his knowledge and allusions is impressive.

Now, who do I pass this on to next?

Journal Entry 5 by Candyfloss from Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Friday, September 24, 2004
Just to let you all know the book arrived safely this morning. Looks like it will be a great read!


Journal Entry 6 by Fellraven from Redditch, Worcestershire United Kingdom on Saturday, December 18, 2004
Open to anyone anywhere. Please read and forward within 4 weeks of receipt and be prepared to post it to another country if necessary.

1. Londonmet (London, UK)
2. Candyfloss (West Yorkshire, UK)
3. Silkina (Leipzig, Germany)
4. -aoirghe- (Bonn, Germany)
5. Koalabare (London, UK)
6. Kislany (Lefkosia, Cyprus)
7. Ramya (NJ, USA)
8. labmomnm (Albuquerque, NM, USA)
9. dospescados (chittenango, NY, USA)
10. d-o-m (South Yorkshire, UK)
11. Fellraven <--- Back Home (3 August 2006)


Journal Entry 7 by Candyfloss from Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Monday, January 03, 2005
Dear all,

My sincere apologies for the delay in sending this book on. I was tardy enough in reading it when Fellraven first contacted me to check I was OK and I promised to send the book straight on. Unfortunately, in quick succession we had a bereavement in the family and I became quite ill. As a result it really fell down my list of priorities and remained buried beneath my "to do" pile on my desk and the PMs remained unanswered in my unread inbox.

I can only apologise. I have contacted Silkina today and will post the book to her airmail tomorrow.

Happy new year to you all. I'm hoping 2005 will be a better one.
Candyfloss.

Journal Entry 8 by silkina from Leipzig, Sachsen Germany on Monday, January 17, 2005
Got this in the mail last week and have added it to the top of my TBR pile!

Journal Entry 9 by silkina from Leipzig, Sachsen Germany on Tuesday, February 08, 2005
I loved this book! I found that it captures the middle ages unusually well, or maybe it's just Ackroyd's particular version of the middle ages, but anyway, a very intense reading experience. I feel like I learnt a lot.

Sending on to the next reader now ...

Journal Entry 10 by -aoirghe- from Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Wednesday, March 02, 2005
The book has just arrived. It may take some time for reading as I've got 2 1/2 bookrings to finish first.

Journal Entry 11 by -aoirghe- from Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Thursday, March 24, 2005
I love the book and I guess I will have to buy a copy for my personal collection... I've read some of Ackroyd's other books (Hawksmoor, The House of Doctor Dee, and now and again I read a little in his biography of London), and I certainly like his style. Then he describes one of the periods and one of the political turning points of english history I'm most interested in. But mostly I liked his fleshing out of Chaucer's characters and combining them in a different story, his putting them in a sort of mediaevel thriller. One of my favourite chapters is the Shipman's Tale describing the Shipman's journey on the river meeting/seeing all the other characters of the novel - it has a little Joycean touch to it.

And I (as being so much interested in the history of the Plantagenets) was delighted in finding a postcard of Tewkesbury Abbey as a book-mark...

Thank you, Fellraven, for this ring, I'm looking forward to the next Ackroyd!

The book will travel on this weekend, I've already got Koalabare's address as Kislany asked to be skipped for the time being.

Journal Entry 12 by Koalabare from Fetcham, Surrey United Kingdom on Thursday, March 31, 2005
Thanks -aoirghe- for sending it on and Fellraven for organising!

I have another bookring ahead of this, but since I'm on holiday next week, I should be able to get this read fairly quickly.

Journal Entry 13 by Koalabare from Fetcham, Surrey United Kingdom on Monday, April 11, 2005
Well, rereading the comments from earlier members of the bookring, everything has been said that I would want to!

Enjoyable and cleverly written - I especially liked the dialogue, which had a genuinely medieval ring to it. As with Londonmet, I was familiar with some of the streets, so kept reaching for the A-Z to work out roughly where the rest were!

Intriguing, and one I'll be rereading if I come across another copy. Thanks again Fellraven!

20/05/05 - This is packed and ready to go to Kislany - but unfortunately I have been laid low by a stomach bug :( However, I'll get this to the post office as soon as I can.

21/05/05 - Stomach bug in retreat, so have taken restorative stroll to the post office. Book is now on its way to Kislany!

Journal Entry 14 by Kislany on Friday, May 27, 2005
Thank you, got it today. Hope to read it soon.
*note to self to check with Fellraven before sending the book further*

Journal Entry 15 by Kislany on Sunday, June 05, 2005
I couldn't get into the book. I guess when I asked to be dropped, I knew that I wouldn't, as in the last few months my tastes in books have changed dramatically. For some reason though I got persuaded to receive it anyway. Oh well, what one doesn't do to keep the ring from being stuck with an unreliable person *grins*. Now I'm waiting for Ramya's address to send it all the way across the pond.

Journal Entry 16 by Kislany on Sunday, July 03, 2005
Got an address from Ramya. Sending tomorrow the book by surface mail.

RELEASE NOTES:

Enjoy :)

Journal Entry 18 by Ramya from Plainsboro, New Jersey USA on Monday, July 18, 2005
I received this book in the mail on Saturday. I have a few rings ahead of this, but I expect this should be a quick read once I begin. Thanks, Fellraven, for lending, and Kislany, for sending!

Journal Entry 19 by Ramya from Plainsboro, New Jersey USA on Sunday, November 13, 2005
I found the end notes quite interesting, but the rest of the book was slow going for me, and I ended up only skimming it. Thanks for the chance, though, to read it -- and my apologoes for having kept it for so long!

This book will be going out to labmomnm in the next few days.

Journal Entry 20 by Ramya from Plainsboro, New Jersey USA on Saturday, December 17, 2005
"A few days" has stretched to a month -- I'm sorry! This book went off in the mail this morning. Thanks, Fellraven, for sharing it.

Journal Entry 21 by winglabmomnmwing from Albuquerque, New Mexico USA on Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Arrived in the mail over the New Year's Holiday...thanks!

13 January 2006: Well, I couldn't get into this. Maybe because I'd read such glowing reviews when it first came out so I was expecting some incredibly wonderful read...I don't know. The plot sounded interesting enough on a technical level, but I read the first few chapters and realized that I really didn't care what happened, so I bailed. Thanks for the chance to give it a try!!

21 January 2006 - mailed to dospescados

Journal Entry 22 by dospescados on Monday, January 23, 2006
Thanks, I'm looking forward to this!

Journal Entry 23 by dospescados on Friday, February 24, 2006
I'm starting this tonight and PMing d-o-m for an address.

Journal Entry 24 by dospescados on Monday, February 27, 2006
Well, I've also given up on it after about 4-5 chapters. It just hasn't caught me at all. I think I've also been really picky about books lately cos I've been giving up on books left and right for the past few weeks. Off to find my next literary fix and to mail this to d-o-m....

Journal Entry 25 by tagesmann on Friday, May 12, 2006
12 May 2006. One of three bookrings received yesterday. I'm not the fastest reader and don't get much time to read and I am not sure in what order I am going to read the three. Luckily I'm last in the ring so...

9 July 2006. Surprisingly good. I've onlyread one other book by this author. That was hs excellent diography of Charles Dickens. I'm not sure why my expectations were so low, but I was pleasantly surprised at such a good succint story.
Thnks for sharing Fellraven.

Journal Entry 26 by Fellraven from Redditch, Worcestershire United Kingdom on Sunday, August 06, 2006
Received safely back home the other day. Thanks to all who read it and passed it on to the next reader.

I plan to quickly re-read it before wild releasing it to continue its journey.

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