Whilst "A Cure for Solitude" is largely set in Prague, and sells itself on being based in Prague, the shadow of London looms heavily over the whole story. The main characters Alex and Dominik may not be from London, but they meet there whilst based in the city, and are marginalised residents, wastrels of different kinds. Alex has drifted himself into a life of no fixed abode dwellings and casual acquaintances, and lacks a direction, purpose or anchor. Dominik the smuggler, on the other hand, has an unpleasant Eastern Bloc history he is trying - and patently failing - to move on from.
The novel manages to effortlessly encapsulate the mindset of discontent drifters with two stories of their own to tell. Unlike many books taking on this subject, it also drifts into the world of criminal activity with a deftness of touch, stopping short of hyperbolic, inflammatory prose.
This is a fascinating piece of work which doesn't disappoint, and is also enormously readable. You'll recognise Prague immediately - but you'll sense a certain sort of lonely London personality between the lines as well.