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London Belongs to Me (Penguin Modern Classics)

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After all, they are living in a world which allows – indeed obliges them – to make choices about their personal beliefs. Certainly only the former has the discernible curve which the novel describes, but walk down the latter from the railway bridge towards the park and even now it is possible to detect a contrast between the commercial and residential ends of the fictionalised street; a contrast that, seventy years ago, would have engendered the narcissism of infinitesimal social distinction that he wanted to satirise. But you’re right Joe, and I am doubly shamed since I have Barthelme’s Sixty Stories (I thought it would be 50% better value than Forty Stories) and recently purchased The Witches of Eastwick.

I have quite a few big, thick books waiting, but when I look at them and think that I could read 3 or 4 smaller books in the same time, I pass them up. I recently started reading Jose Saramago’s “A Brief History of the Seige of Lisbon”, and I thought it was very fine, but reading his very long sentences, I got just too tired, so after 60 pages, I switched to Amelie Nothomb’s “Tokyo Fiancee” which is only 170 pages and full of short sentences. When tragedy strikes, the house must come together to fight, with the true characters of the residents being revealed as they struggle and make sacrifices to try and keep their Dulcimer Street family together. Prepare to be seduced by engaging characters, irresistible in their own quirky way, and transported by keen descriptions of the sights, sounds, and tastes of London. It was such a personal and indulgent moment between my parents and me as nobody else recognised the names.An honest navvy or a coal heaver, however well paid, simply wouldn’t have been allowed across the threshold. I felt utterly involved in the world Collins created, and cared desperately for each of the characters. You can unsubscribe from our list at any point by changing your preferences, or contacting us directly.

At the end of the film, Percy's supporters march through the rain to the Houses of Parliament, only to discover just before their arrival that clemency has already been granted. Perhaps it isn’t strange after all; this article came to be written in the month that the remains of Roman baths were discovered at Borough Market, so perhaps the author could have added, ‘and in Caesar’s day before that’. However, in addition to London Belongs To Me, Collins produced a fair number of other works of fiction, some of which are still in print. It’s a London that no longer exists, of course, which makes the book doubly important as a social documentary as well.This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an introduction by Ed Glinert, author of The London Compendium.

So much happens – often of a banal but diverting nature – that to reveal some of it would be not so much spoiling as inadequate. As dusk falls, the Park in the background becomes vast and mysterious, and the gas lamps that light your way along the main paths dwindle into the distance like lanterns in Illyria.

Establishing this does not come easily for Doris, but she convinces the reader and her parents that the world is changing and the clock is not going to stop. The only problem is that during the past few years, I’ve read just about everything Graham Greene wrote, so I’d have a hard time scratching up four un-read. He tries not to get involved in the lives of the others, and instead focuses his energies on making sure he can get the most for himself by doing the least work possible. To become a subscriber to Slightly Foxed: The Real Reader’s Quarterly Magazine, please visit our subscriptions page.

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