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Summary

Stories tucked away on every floor. No. 10 Luckenbooth Close is an archetypal Edinburgh tenement.

The devil’s daughter rows to the shores of Leith in a coffin. The year is 1910, and she has been sent to a tenement building in Edinburgh by her recently deceased father to bear a child for a wealthy man and his fiancée. The harrowing events that follow lead to a curse on the building and its residents - a curse that will last for the rest of the century.

Over nine decades, No. 10 Luckenbooth Close bears witness to emblems of a changing world outside its walls. An infamous madam, a spy, a famous Beat poet, a coal miner who fears daylight, a psychic: these are some of the residents whose lives are plagued by the building’s troubled history in disparate, sometimes chilling ways. The curse creeps up the nine floors, and an enraged spirit world swells to the surface, desperate for the true horror of the building’s longest kept secret to be heard.

Luckenbooth is a bold, haunting and dazzlingly unique novel about the stories and secrets we leave behind and the places that hold them long after we are gone.

©2021 Jenni Fagan (P)2020 W F Howes

What listeners say about Luckenbooth

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastically dark.

Another fantastic novel from Jenni Fagan (if you haven't already, listen to Panopticon and Sunlight Pilgrims, you don't be disappointed!). Luckenbooth is fantastically dark, and brings to life to undercurrent of Edinburgh, touching on all the best Scottish literary tropes. It's a fiery novel too, with strong political sentiment weaved through the characters lives. A very profound novel for the world we live in today.

The characters are strong and I feel as though I've met each one personally. The narration is great, with actors taking several characters each. This isn't an issue as the writing and performance set them apart. One of the Scottish accents is off which grates a bit, but thankfully it's not a main character, so we don't encounter much of it.

I highly recommend the book.

9 people found this helpful

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Another great story by Jenni.

A tale through Edinburgh time. Twisty, turny and weird as f. Really enjoyed this work. Would recommend to those looking for a journey into the strange.

4 people found this helpful

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Disappointing I think and regret

I’ve listened an hour or two writing this, and write with a heavy heart. The language is polished as you would expect. I’m sure the story and telling made sense to Jenni but it makes no sense to me, I fear. My fault more than the author, perhaps.... I think I might read for myself.

3 people found this helpful

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Creepy but flawed

Can’t say I took to this book. I liked the premise and at times it was very effective in its clear desire to be creepy but characters who were there solely for exposition and clumsy foreshadowing to modern life let it down badly.

Whoever told that American voice actor he can do a Scottish accent has mislead him badly.

2 people found this helpful

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Intriguing, But Doesn't Quite Live Up to Promise

This book is a lovesong to Edinburgh, one of the world's great cities, and Fagan captures its dark beauty masterfully. She sets a series of narratives inside - or just outside - the walls of a tenement building in the old town, which presides over a long history and is the one constant character. Fagan is a skilled writer and many of the characters fascinating, but this is a book in need of a good editor. The stronger narratives are curtailed to leave space for the less interesting, there is a recurring tendency to list details unnecessarily and it sometimes feels more like manifesto than novel. This was not helped by the delivery of two of the narrators, who read in a repetitive cadence that became increasingly irritating. However, there are enjoyable and striking moments, including the ending, and it is a book that will stay with me, much like the city.

1 person found this helpful

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Luckenbooth

A wonderful story of the layered history of a fictional Edinburgh tenement; very atmospheric and beautifully read.

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brilliantly written and performed

such a gripping book where the 9 storey building becomes a malevolent character in its own right

1 person found this helpful

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Yum, The Terrible House

I loved the atmosphere of this book. Woman after woman deliciously and dangerously inhabiting Luckenbooth.

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Amazing

An amazing mix of mysticism, spirituality, love, life and death. A fantastic peice of scottish literature.

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A work of genius

One of the most original and poetic novels of our time. It should be read, heard, studied, written about for generations to come. It touches the heart and soul, its voice compelling. It’s message essential.