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Hangover Square: A Story of Darkest Earl's Court (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 28 Jun 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Paperback, 28 Jun 2001
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (28 Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141185899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141185897
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Rhind-Tutt's presentation of Bone's cinematic first-person narrative cleverly builds the tension of the mental conflicts which make up Bone's distorted vision of what is going on around him. It's a tense and gripping study of a drink-fuelled mental disintegration." (Rachel Redford, The Observer) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Cult reading by Julian Rhind Tutt --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback
An unusual and gripping book. The sheer injustice that is suffered by George, the central character, is balanced with our knowledge of what is REALLY going on in his head when he has one of his 'dead' moods... terrible murderous thoughts unknown even to kindly George himself. Thus we see-saw mercilessly back and forth along with George's own unacknowledged schizophrenia, seeing him unwittingly inching closer to his ultimate revenge - a revenge that we realise must destroy him too.

It's impossible not to feel compassion, frustration and sadness when reading this book. Hamilton's use of dialogue and spare description perfectly evokes both the glitz and the seamier sides of pre-war London, a London which he himself had seen and experienced. Indeed my one cautionary note would be that the old fashioned London dialogue and vocabulary may be tricky for some non-British readers to follow.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hamilton, Patrick. Hangover Square

Patrick Hamilton’s novel based in Earls Court and Brighton in 1939 is possibly the best anti-romantic novel ever written in English. First published in 1941 by Constable, it was reissued by Penguin in 1956 and became a Penguin Modern Classics book in 2001, sixty years after first publication. JB Priestley in his 1972 introduction finds Hamilton ‘above all the novelist of the homeless,’ which exactly describes the mood of the book. ‘He takes us into a kind of No-Man’s-Land of shabby hotels, dingy boarding-houses and all those saloon bars where the homeless can meet,’ says Priestley, and he does this through exploring the interior world of his unlikely hero George Harvey Bone.

Bone is the classic ‘muff’ as Thackeray would call him. He is large, awkward and slavishly devoted to a woman who despises him. His romantic advances to Netta are apologetic and self-disparaging. He knows he stands no chance of engaging the attentions of this beautiful creature, yet cannot save himself from persisting in his timid approaches. Netta’s interest in George is undisguisedly one of convenience. Bone (her appellation throughout) is able to fund her life of pleasure, but he can in no way advance her social or theatrical career; the very reverse in fact. Netta emerges as a heartless scheming tart, seen through by all her male escorts, including, strangely enough, the aspiring Bone himself.

So far, so banal, but George Bone knows this and Hamilton skillfully addresses this weakness by providing a shell into which his hero ‘snaps’ or ‘cracks’ at frequent intervals.
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By A Customer on 4 Aug. 2002
Format: Paperback
I have never read a book like this, and I can't believe there are no other reviews for it! Patrick Hamilton's classic is a rare and involving experience, leading you through the tortured mind of a killer. But George is no ordinary killer, and you will find your self rooting for him, because he represents the victim in all of us. If you have ever had a bad drunk, a bad hangover, or a touch of unrequited love, this is the book for you.
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It was probably more the rampant dipsomania and the late thirties, down-at-heel London atmosphere that seduced me, if I'm honest. Though it does begin very well. Gripping, in fact. The tension is at once palpable; the writing highly perceptive, psychologically alert.

It's just that from about mid-way it does become somewhat repetitive and one-dimensional. The thought processes of Bone's 'dead' spells, for instance, regurgitated almost verbatim on each occurrence. And, for me, the inevitable ending could have been much hastened.

It's nevertheless a fine, unusual novel: an acute study of a tormented man's mental anguish; his surrender and utter defeat.
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