I grew up not more than a mile from the 'Bunk' but I never knew its story or even that it existed, only that the other side of Fonthill Road was the badlands and to keep away. Recently I looked at my fathers birth certificate (now long gone)and discovered he was born at 15 Playford Rd, next to Campbell Rd, strange I thought so close but he never mentioned this (I just knew he came from a impoverish family in Islington and I had it easy!) So as you do, as you age, wondering I looked it up and discovered another world.
In some ways the book is strange, neither totally a referrence, nor a novel, difficult as it is Jerry White does not quite pull off the impossible, but he gets pretty close and if you can wade though all the facts there is a story within. The stories are real as the people. You get the feeling of being there and it is not romantisized, but better than that, it deals with the psychology and as such it explain who and why my father was the person that he was. For that I will be ever grateful as alive I could never truely work him out. Published 2 years before his death, oh how I wish we could have read it together.
As a piece of referrence of the inner city early 20th century working class, this book has few equals.