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Soho [Paperback]

Keith Waterhouse
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Oct 2001
No London neighbourhood more resembles the restless downstream tide of the Thames than the ragged square mile of Soho, and into this human rabbit warren one evening slips Alex Singer, a student from Leeds in pursuit of his errant girlfriend. Twenty-four hours, three deaths, one fire and one mugging later, seduced, traduced and befriended, Alex is on his way to the Soho Ball. In this fast, funny and superbly crafted novel, Keith Waterhouse draws a vibrant portrait of London's liveliest quarter past and present and of its eccentric inhabitants.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre; New Ed edition (18 Oct 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340766611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340766613
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 12.8 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 843,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Quite easily the wittiest and best chronicler of contemporary life

His comic evocation of place and people and his humane descriptions of Soho's lowlife bring the present and the past effortlessly together. (Claire Allfree, Metro)

You stay gripped from the opening paragraph ... It crackles with insight about the nature of sexual obsession

Waterhouse uses Alex's saucer-eyed awareness of "So-oh's" otherness to take the reader on a wistful and gently amusing trawl through the area. Even episodes of sexual perversion and murder are recounted with a deft lightness of touch, though a metropolitan cynicism lurks on the peripheries of this entertaining farce. (Chris Power, The Times)

Keith Waterhouse's satire of London life is pin-sharp and teeming with gloriously reprehensible characters. He is one of Britain's finest journalists. SOHO is a timely reminder of how good a storyteller he is. (Simon Shaw, Mail on Sunday)

He can be angrily oratorical, bluntly rude, soberly informative, boozily clownish, but cannot stop being very, very funny

A treat for sore brains

With its breakneck pacing and kinetic characters, SOHO captures the ever- morphing nature of the area.

highly entertaining. Rather like a night out in Soho.

A timely reminder of how good a storyteller he is. (Simon Shaw, Mail on Sunday)

Book Description

A tour de force from the creator of Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell and Billy Liar.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book with long lasting impressions 7 May 2002
Soho takes quite a while to get going and I found difficult to read in the first ten pages or so as a young bloke from Leeds goes searching for his long lost girlfriend in Soho and ends up travelling through innumerable pubs in his search.
He meets many lively characters and has several incidents. The story heats up as he takes away from the original aim of the visit and there turn out to be quite a few interesting sub-plots.
The final 100 pages or so were easy to read and I was gripped finding out what would happen to the bloke although there was always the suspicion that the original aim would come again as it did.
The story has several different themes involving an outsider moving to and visiting central London, how people deal with strangers and the search for long lost friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly hilarious 17 Jan 2002
By A Customer
..never read another Waterhouse novel, but I must say that if this is mediocre compared to the rest, then roll on the rest. With one minor quibble I thought this was one of the funniest books I've read in a long time and the growing parade of characters with their frequent reappearances just added to the hilarity. I especially loved the corpse's progress as he is taken from one pub to another ("It's what he would have wanted") and the frequency with which all the characters are banned from said pubs. My only quibble was the murder, which I thought sounded a wrong note, but otherwise I can not wait to read more Waterhouse.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing in comparison to his other novels 16 Aug 2001
By A Customer
It may well be that, for someone who is reading a novel by Keith Waterhouse for the first time, they will find this book to be an enjoyable read, written in a light comedy vein. However, I found it quite superficial in comparison to some of his other books. For example, "Bimbo" being one of the funniest satires on the tabloid press and "how to get on in life by just being glamourous!" I have ever read and "Our Song" - a moving account of how destructive love can be when it becomes an obsession. Even "Sweet Charity" - which is lighter in tone, I felt had characters who were more sharply defined experiencing believable humourous situations. Therefore I did find "Soho" disappointing - for instance scenes of the body of the man who died at the beginning of the book being carried around from pub to pub seemed so bizarre and the only reason I could find for the "hero" meeting up with the same people all the time was to demonstrate Soho as a tightly knit community. I felt sorry that this book was not for me - it lacked depth but didn't make me laugh enough to compensate for this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Waterhouse 12 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Not as good as some of his other classics (Biky Liar, billy Liar on the Moon etc) but an entertaining read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great romp in 24 hours 15 Nov 2003
By Glen1975 - Published on
This book is a great little romp through an extremely interesting part of London - its more seamier side. The time span is 24 hours and follows the story of young man who searches for his erstwhile girlfriend. He encounters numerous characters each with their own tale to tell. Highly comical, very funny and can be read in one sitting.
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