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Hangover Square: A Story of Darkest Earl's Court Paperback – 1 Jan 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Europa Editions (Jan. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781933372068
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933372068
  • ASIN: 1933372060
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.9 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,178,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the greatest novels of the 20th century by a country mile! Existential,heartbreaking,disturbing-the great Patrick Hamilton novel that you must read.Clear influence on Greene and Pinter.
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One of Patrick Hamilton's best novels from such an under rated writer. .His characters have depth and his sense of place and period (of which he had great personal experience) is unerring.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fine
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Melancholy and Great. Character portrayal.
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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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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
'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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