- 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)
Hangover Square: A Story of Darkest Earl's Court Paperback – 1 Jan 2006
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"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.
Cult reading by Julian Rhind Tutt --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not everyone could have read this marvelous book the way Julian Rhind-Tutt has.
The character being read comes across intimately and convincingly. Read more
In my view this is a small masterpiece, a remarkable book that is profound, perceptive and extremely moving, and will surely stand the test of time. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amanda Jenkinson
London 1939. Waiting for war, Searching for alcohol and love. What a great read. First Patrick Hamilton I've read but it won't be the last.Published 9 months ago by Kbkenny
This novel reeks of dirty British cities with the backdrop menace of WW2 in the smog and grime. George Bone is in a bad way psychologically - the "cracks" in his head are... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Stuart C.
"Hangover Square" was published in 1941, at the peak of Patrick Hamilton's fame, which was by that time considerable. Read morePublished 10 months ago by nigeyb
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. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Woolco