Top positive review
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A delightful read. Recommended.
on 31 October 2015
Any large city can be desperately lonely for someone whose roots are elsewhere and who is not part of a smaller community within the urban monster. My overriding impression from this book is not so much one of loneliness as immense spirit often in the face of poverty and prejudice. I enjoyed this book enormously and laughed aloud frequently at the antics and verve of Cap, Tanty and the others.
The writing, in an almost free association patois, brings us so much closer to the thoughts and feelings of the participants. I knew London when newsagents’ windows exhibited openly racist advertisements and it is hardly surprising that these new immigrants hovered in their attitudes between respect and emulation and fear and a resourcefulness born from their minority situation. Anyone unfamiliar with London will be much more aware after reading Sam Selvon’s account of the wanderings of his cast in this account. In some ways the tightly knit bonds between these newcomers seems to reduce the metropolis to a village. I find the introduction rather unnecessarily solemn. For me the book is far more of a celebration than a lament and like Cap and Galahad, whatever vicissitudes of fortune come their way, they bounce back with energetic resilience.