John Thompson, Jobe – The Beginning Of A Liverpool Legend. Book Review.

Jobe- The Beginning of A Liverpool Legend is Liverpool writer John Thompson’s debut novel, and is a nostalgic look at 19th century Liverpool and the thriving port that bought so much wealth to the city.

Mr. Thompson’s research into Victorian Liverpool is extensive and he has created a rich, vibrant description of the city. Mostly seen through the eyes of eight year old Jobe, he has painted a bleak picture of what young Jobe and his friends face daily; the struggles that his mother Kitty faces in the tenement slums where she does her best to keep her son safe. But it has not always been this way, and as is often the case circumstances change the fate for young Jobe that alters the course of his life for good.

Although Mr. Thompson has placed his characters in the bleakness of noisy, dirty Liverpool and for a time on the greasy decks of the reform ships, they do shine through the grime and filth of the slums. Relationships are made and as the story progresses we see young Jobe persevere through the toughest of situations, leading the way with his tenacity and courage.

Jobe- The Beginning of A Liverpool Legend is a well written book and John Thompson had managed to capture a piece of social history that brings industrious, busy and often brutal Victorian Liverpool to life. It is apparent how much research has gone into creating Jobe and the telling of his extraordinary life and  John Thompson’s easy way of writing makes for a very enjoyable read.

Janie Phillips 

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