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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars drunk and disorientatingly good, 22 Sept. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Hangover Square: A Story of Darkest Earl's Court (Paperback)
I fell in love with the title first. I found it in a second hand shop. I've had to buy three more copies since as they've got ruined through late night reading.
Hamilton captures speech and the cruelty of life with an accuracy rarely seen in novels of this time. It is so very English, the weather is drab yet you always think there might be rainbows in the puddles. Despite this it reminds me of a lot of US novels, particularly 'Ask the Dust' by Fante and 'The Lost Weekend' by Jackson.
It's beautiful, despairing and at times excrutiating . A classic that has fallen down the cracks in the corridor of history, this is the perfect book for when the rain's hammering at your window and you realise it's six months until summer. Gin soaked genius
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding, 12 Mar. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Hangover Square: A Story of Darkest Earl's Court (Paperback)
I found this book through the recommendation of another reader on Amazon.co.uk and was delighted to do so. This is simply brilliant. No other book I have read has captured the mood of a single moment in history quite so well. Like Ullyses in its minute observations and with the momentum of a Graham Greene this is a classic which deserves more fame. It is one of my top ten ever. (Don't mistake it for a case history of schizophrenia, though, as the introductory notes suggest. By our contemporary definitions he would have a recurrent dissociative state.) This is the only thing I could find wrong with this book. It is as close to perfect as one could ever want. Sensational.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamilton: soused Nobakov, 24 Oct. 2000
This review is from: Hangover Square: A Story of Darkest Earl's Court (Paperback)
Hamilton's characterisation and sense of diction mean that this a novel as re-readable as any by an English author in the twentieth century. The pathetic figure of George Harvey Bone lurches through a perfectly described Dreary Twenties London trying to maintain his sanity and rid himself of his infatuation with a petty and cold actress. The author's sense of tragedy on the small scale echos through all of his better work: this novel, and also The Slaves of Solitude and Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky.
His humour, his understanding of frustrated sexuality, his cruelty (the author is God in any novel), and his ability to humiliate pathetic but sympathetic characters puts him up there with Nobakov - just a pity Hamilton couldn't have cleaned up his act and kept writing as well as this. However, his work being of a vaguely (very vaguely) autobiographical nature, he had to drink himself to death after writing a number of poor quality later works. This, though, is an absolute gem of a novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A novel about cruelty, unrequited love and alcohol, 24 Mar. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Hangover Square: A Story of Darkest Earl's Court (Paperback)
An excellent book, and a great example of the English novel, should be on everyone's reading list. JB Priestly writes the introduction, and if you've ever enjoyed the Go-Betweens then its a safe bet that you will also love this much harsher and crueller book. It's an expose of unrequited love and mental cruelty, set against a backdrop of alcohol and the ever-nearing prospect of World War II.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great novel, by one of my favourite writers, 23 July 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Hangover Square: A Story of Darkest Earl's Court (Paperback)
Hamilton's masterpiece? I love all Hamilton's novels (even the weaker ones, but this one's among his best.
Hamilton's a genius, far more fun than E Waugh (both born in 1904). When you can re-read a Hamilton novel it's still funny: Martin Amis books are impossible to read twice, I feel.
No one writes a better pub scene'n Hamilton, not even the great Bruce Robinson.
It's a shame he isn't taught in the schools. "Please, Miss - can we read THE WEST PIER?" ...
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Hangover Square: A Story of Darkest Earl's Court
Hangover Square: A Story of Darkest Earl's Court by Patrick Hamilton (Paperback - 26 July 1990)
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