Novels that evoke British places very well ...please recommend

(73 Posts)
revolvenotevolve Tue 20-Aug-13 19:53:27

Id love to read some novels set around Britain and that really evoke the place so it inspires a visit ! Any recommendations ?

mrswalker13 Tue 05-Nov-13 18:44:57

Another vote for Ian Rankin for Edinburgh - and if you pick up Black and Blue, good on Glasgow and Aberdeen as well.

Previous poster onto something with crime fiction being particularly good for this: Denise Mina for Glasgow and Stuart McBride for a very dark look at Aberdeen!

For me, the best book if you want to understand central belt Scotland is Our Fathers by Andrew O'Hagan.

DuchessofMalfi Mon 04-Nov-13 08:31:48

Blacklands, Dark Side, and Finders Keepers by Belinda Bauer for Exmoor. Really excellent thrillers, especially Blacklands.

TangoRaindrop Sun 03-Nov-13 18:52:52

oh, here's the link: http://anncleeves.com/shetland/

TangoRaindrop Sun 03-Nov-13 18:52:27

Anne Cleeves 'Shetland' series. The fifth book has recently been published and the one of them has already been made into a television series. Highly recommended. smile Shetland is part of the UK although it isn't present on the Mumsnet homepage map! We're often forgotten about since we're so far north.

TheNunsOfGavarone Thu 31-Oct-13 11:36:24

A Place of Execution by Val McDermid, set in a wonderfully evoked Peak District. Cracking read.

JinnyShantihAndFinmory Wed 30-Oct-13 23:18:15

Secrets by Freya North is set in Saltburn by the Sea near Whitby. The setting plays a big party in the story and when I visited a couple of years later it all felt so familiar.

colafrosties Wed 30-Oct-13 23:12:27

The Widow's Tale by Mick Jackson, mainly set in North Norfolk

Oh, and The Darling Buds of May - Kent.

The Will Stanton place in the Dark is Rising was Buckinghamshire.

MaKettle Tue 10-Sep-13 23:43:58

Philip Hensher, The Northern Clemency (for Sheffield)

joanofarchitrave Mon 09-Sep-13 21:49:05

The Happy Prisoner by Monica Dickens for Shropshire or any idyllic perfect 'profound England' countryside really.

The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard for Sussex.

Rivals by Jilly Cooper for quite a vivid Cotswolds feel IMO.

guggenheim Sun 08-Sep-13 20:28:27

Porterhouse Blue- Tom Sharpe for cambridge

There is a book called ' The Curry club' (poss) set in the mill road

Oh I know- Alexander- a life lived backwards describes the drinking culture and a very grim aspect of poverty in the city.

Parts of neil Stephenson's trilogy are about Issac Newton and Cambridge,but I didn't get on with it so I'm not sure that I could recommend it.

I suggest that you visit cambridge and read the names of the WW2 airmen written on the ceiling of The Eagle instead.

7to25 Sun 08-Sep-13 20:11:12

Swing hammer swing by Jeff Torrington for an unrivalled view of 60's Glasgow.
He calls the High Street the vestigal spine of medeval Glasgow. Brilliant.

Pollaidh Sat 07-Sep-13 19:14:14

As well as 39 Steps for Scotland, I'd recommend John MacNab, also by John Buchan, which is really evocative of the Scottish Highlands in the interwar years (and even now), and a great romp.

Dorothy L Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey series for Oxford (Gaudy Night), Fens (9 Tailors).

Ian Rankin's Rebus books for Edinburgh, also Alexander McCall Smith's Scotland Street books for Edinburgh.

Malcolm Saville's Lone Pine Series (like Famous Five but much better written) for Shropshire.

North and South and Mary Barton for northern industrial towns in the industrial revolution.

The Call the Midwife books (on which the TV series was based) are a very interesting look at the east end of London in the 1950s.

MacaYoniandCheese Thu 05-Sep-13 22:06:11

Alison Lurie's 'Foreign Affairs' for modern London (from the POV of an American).

LumpySpacePrincessOhMyGlob Thu 05-Sep-13 21:57:41

Phil Rickamn really makes the place the star, really evocative.

ChunkyPickle Thu 05-Sep-13 17:42:12

I you like modern fantasy/sci-fi/I don't know what to call it, I think that Tom Holt and Robert Rankin do some very English stuff, almost to the stage of making me homesick when I was living abroad.

It's not always accurately defining an area (although there is the Brentford Trilogy), but just the overall feeling they give is very everyday english town existence.

TheUglyFuckling Thu 05-Sep-13 17:34:24

we have very similar tastes openofjars.

Weirdstone of Brisingamen was one of my fave childhood books. We took our DCs to Alderley Edge last year and it is incredibly atmospheric, especially as while we were there a storm blew in and we had to run through the rain and thw wind. It's eerie to say the least.

Also loved The Dark Is Rising sequence too, Cooper captures a sense of place so evocatively.

Fraxinus Wed 04-Sep-13 23:11:26

David almond.

OverAndAbove Wed 04-Sep-13 23:01:30

Three Men in a Boat is great for locations along the river Thames. Also Wind in the Willows on part of the same stretch

I thought AS Byatt's Possession really captures bits of North Yorkshire, and Kate Atkinson Behind the Scenes at the Museum for York. And her Jackson Brodie books are good for Edinburgh (think the first one was Cambridge but I don't know it so couldn't judge)

Brideshead Revisited for Oxford.

HumphreyCobbler Sat 31-Aug-13 20:32:53

The Stone Book Quartet by Alan Garner

Was going to say Cider With Rosie but someone beat me to it.

TempusFuckit Sat 31-Aug-13 20:31:04

Ooh, yy to Dark is Rising. Must read again smile

openerofjars Sat 31-Aug-13 20:27:59

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner for the landscape around Macclesfield in Cheshire: I grew up there and he just gets the Pennine landscape and the unearthliness of Alderley Edge and Shutlinsloe.

Actually, I must go and re-read it right this minute.

The Dark is Rising sequence for Cornwall, wherever it is that Will Stanton lives and the Welsh mountains.

I loves my retro children's literature, me, so yyy to Swallows and Amazons for the lakes, too.

Bunbaker Sat 31-Aug-13 20:20:53

Anything by Dickens
Peter May's the Lewis Trilogy
Any Bronte book except for Villette
Colin Dexter - Inspector Morse (set in and around Oxford)
Ian Rankin - Edinburgh

BikeRunSki Sat 31-Aug-13 20:05:48

Dreams of Leaving - Rupert ??? describes the South Downs villages inland of Brighton very well. I didn' t read it knowing this, but recognised Hassocks, Keymer a.d Hurstpierpoint - where my grandparents lived , and where I spent a great deal.of my childhood.

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