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Hangover Square: a Story of Darkest Earl's Court Unknown Binding – 1966

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Panther (1966)
  • ASIN: B001ORS7XK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,228,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By sergio corbucci on 4 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Firstly let me just say that i enjoyed this book very much, as it is the sort of lit
i usually go for, as i like books about outsiders, underdogs people who are at the edge of society who don't necessarily fit in, or don't want to. But anyway this isn't a review as there are people better at it than me.
This is just a warning that JB Priestly, the person who wrote the introduction
(in my penguin paperback version at least) has decided it his his job to tell us what happens at the end of the book. I can't really imagine why anyone in their right mind would do this, but i don't think it's necessary and if you don't want to find out what happens before you've read it, leave the introduction alone untill you've finished the book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
Described by the [London] Daily Telegraph as "a criminally neglected British author," Patrick Hamilton wrote nine novels from the 1920s through the early 1950s, along with the famous dramas of Rope and Gaslight, and though he earned the admiration of a host of famous authors, from Graham Greene and Doris Lessing to Nick Hornby, he never achieved the popular success he deserved, either in his own time or throughout the twentieth century. In this decade, however, virtually all his novels have been reprinted in both Europe and in the US, and he is finally beginning to be recognized for his astute observations about his times and for his insights into the minds of his characters.

Indicating in the subtitle that this is "A story of darkest Earl's Court," Hangover Square is set in what was then a seamy, low-rent district of London, a place in which those who were down on their luck, out of work, or homeless could manage to scrounge through life. Bars and cheap entertainment provided evening activities for people who often did not get up before noon. George Harvey Bone, the main character here, is out of work. Like the other unemployed and under-employed people he associates with, he lives on the fringes of the entertainment business-part-time actors and actresses, managers, and movie makers who party long and hard, fueled by massive quantities of alcohol.

George's drinking might have triggered his earliest his "blackouts," but here they have become more frequent and more debilitating--psychotic episodes of schizophrenia which end with the demand that he kill Netta Longdon to save himself.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend "Hangover Square" as a good read. Hamilton is a sadly neglected novelist, and "Hangover Square" one of his best novels. Writing during the 1930's and war years, his books capture the essence of loneliness, some hopeless, empty, tragic quality of the human soul. George, through whom the story unfolds is a lonely bachelor who frequents the dingy Earls Court of the period; gas-lit bedsit land, sleazy bars, the pub-land drifters and no-hopers, low-grade hotels, Lyons tea houses - this is the world which Hamilton so sensitively and so achingly captures.

The tormented George pursues his "ideal", the cruel, amoral Netta, to the point where his obsession with her becomes sick and destructive. Behind this agonising tale looms the shadow of the imminent world war. A brilliant, dark, gripping story.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
This book has to be among the best novels of the last century. It is tragic, funny and moving. Hamilton was an outstanding writer whose understanding of seemy pub life and the dark side of drinking has never been bettered. Martin Amis would kill to have this much talent or an ounce of Hamilton's compassion.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. Hooper on 25 May 2011
Format: Paperback
'Give me a really good read' I said to to an academic friend of mine who teaches English literature over, appropriately, a post-Christmas drink. 'Hmmm' he pondered and then smiled knowingly, 'try Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton. I reckon you'll like that one'. Good enough for me I thought and two days later, there it was, sitting on my doormat, courtesy of our old friends at Amazon (crikey they've done well out of me over the years).

And what a read it is. Hamilton pulls you into the sad, seedy, drink-sodden (but irresistible) world of pre-war London. We are in the mind of schizophrenic George Harvey Bone, a loveable loser caught in the grips of a mean and heartless group of boozy 'friends', who take his money and goodwill without the slightest shred of guilt or remorse.

Despite knowing he's being taken for a ride ('I've been such a fool' Bone tragically confides to his only real mate), he remains in the pernicious orbit of this cruel and heartless mob, unable to pull himself away. Why? Because of his doomed, and, needless to say, unreciprocated love for the cold and manipulative femme fatale at the centre of the Black Hart public house drinkers, Netta.

The mark of Hamilton's work is one yearns for the gentle, ever so lonely Bone to escape his torment; to be rid of these callus parasites forever - 'go to Maidenhead, go to Maidenhead, George!', I heard myself shouting at the page, raising a few worried looks from passengers on the Bakerloo Line during my dull Monday morning commute (read the book - the Maidenhead reference will become clear).

But of course poor Bone can't escape and therein lies the tragic destiny of this wonderful, compelling and brilliantly written story.
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