The Falling Thread by Adam O’Riordan: a fine tapestry of the past

A debut novel explores a rapidly changing Britain at the turn of the 20th century

Author of The Falling Thread, Adam O’Riordan

Author of The Falling Thread, Adam O’Riordan

“He thought of the city, all the labour in its wards: the calico manufacturers, coopers, cotton spinners, the coal and coke merchants, the importers of ebonite and earthenware, men who sold gauge glass and German silver, makers of hinges and screws, dynamos, driving rope. The hosts of clerks and cashiers, wire workers, wood carvers, spinners of worsted yarn. All living now in this smoke-racked city, lives indivisible from their labour; scraping, cutting, scratching, hammering at their meagre or immodest livings, for it seemed only to allow the two.”

The city in question is Manchester, 10 years before the turn of the 20th century, industrial and industrious, a period of great social change, and fast money for certain classes. In his debut novel, Adam O’Riordan brinngs this world to life through masterful period detail and dexterous description that quickly immerse the reader in the past.

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