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Union Street | Blow Your House Down

af Pat Barker

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1002271,404 (4.07)5
Union Street, Pat Barker's first novel, concerns seven neighboring women near a factory in northeast England. Life for these women is trying: some of them are married to alcoholics, some are victims of abuse; one is old and near death, another is still a child but has the experience of an adult; all are struggling to survive. First published in 1982, it was made into the film Stanley & Iris by MGM in 1989, starring Robert DeNiro and Jane Fonda Blow Your House Down, Barker's second novel, also portrays the lives of women in industrial England--but these women are prostitutes, living in a northern England city that is stalked by a vicious, Jack the Ripper-style serial killer who is singling out women with nowhere else to go.… (mere)
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Union Street

Seven stories of seven womwn who live in Union Street. They all face challenges which include poverty, rape, drunken and abusive husbands and how are they going to survive.

Blow Your House Down

A city and its people are in the grip of a killer who is roaming the northern city, singling out prostitutes. The face of his latest victim stares out from every newspaper and billboard, haunting the women who walk the streets. But life and work go on. Brenda, with three children, can't afford to give up while Audrey, now in her forties, desperately goes on 'working the cars'. And then, when another women is savagely murdered, Jean, her lover, takes desperate measures.

My Thoughts:

Both these books I found were very hard hitting, gritty and very ‘real life’ It just shows how some people live their lives, and there is not always that happy ending. Both books were very straight to the point and very graphic in the details.

What I did find though is that the books were very good but they were both quite depressing and gloomy. There wasn’t much cheer and all the women I found were quite strong but in their circumstances they had to be. There was everyhting to like about the women as they are fighters in the conditions they are in.

Both books are hard hitting and are not for the faint hearted but still provide a good read. ( )
  tina1969 | Oct 1, 2012 |
Union Street is the story of seven women who live near a factory in northern England. Each woman's situation is depicted in a separate chapter. The climate is bleak, the women are poor, and their choices seem few. One is married to an alcoholic, one has an abusive husband. You get the picture. I've really only read one other thing that seemed like this and it was The Woman Who Walked Into Doors by Roddy Doyle. It was a very depressing read, but the writing is wonderful. Pat Barker really has a gift with the spare sentence that says it all.
The second novel in the book is Blow Your House Down. I did not read it and want to get back to it later. But, frankly, I had had enough depressing and wanted something else. ( )
  dablackwood | Jun 25, 2010 |
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Union Street, Pat Barker's first novel, concerns seven neighboring women near a factory in northeast England. Life for these women is trying: some of them are married to alcoholics, some are victims of abuse; one is old and near death, another is still a child but has the experience of an adult; all are struggling to survive. First published in 1982, it was made into the film Stanley & Iris by MGM in 1989, starring Robert DeNiro and Jane Fonda Blow Your House Down, Barker's second novel, also portrays the lives of women in industrial England--but these women are prostitutes, living in a northern England city that is stalked by a vicious, Jack the Ripper-style serial killer who is singling out women with nowhere else to go.

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