Strumpet City is the great social novel of Dublin. Plunkett does for Dublin what writers like Dickens did for London. He expertly encapsulates the social strata of early 20th century Dublin with all it’s hardship and poverty but also the loving comradery of the people which helps them survive the hardship.
Plunketts descriptions of the city are masterful. He lets us hear, smell and feel the clamour of the city. A city which remained largely unchanged until the 1960’s when the tenements were cleared once and for all.
While I would levy some criticism at Plunkett for his character development, he does give us Rashers Tierney. I cannot think of Rashers match anywhere in literature and he must surely be one if the most beloved characters in Irish literature.
I would encourage all to read this book. And for those interested there is an interesting podcast by History Ireland discussing the book and the period.