Hangover Square: A Story of Darkest Earl's Court (Penguin by Patrick Hamilton

By Patrick Hamilton

London 1939, and within the dirty publands of Earls court docket, George Harvey Bone is pursuing a helpless infatuation with Netta who's cool, contemptuous and hopelessly fascinating to George. George is adrift in hell, till anything is going click on in his head and he realizes that he needs to kill her.

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Extra resources for Hangover Square: A Story of Darkest Earl's Court (Penguin Modern Classics)

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Martin Amis’s Money (1984), set in 1981–2, is a transatlantic satire of the emerging Reagan–Thatcher era and its mood of acquisitiveness. The protagonist’s name, John Self, proclaims the intention to make him representative of the period. He shuttles between London and New York in the process of making a movie, and leading a hedonistic lifestyle on apparently inexhaustible funds. Self is a gross figure, ‘addicted to the twentieth century’ (p. 91), and most particularly to alcohol, pornography, and his own misogynistic world-view.

There are disillusionments for her as well, but in her relatively modest aspirations to be a brilliant lecturer with The State and the Novel 33 no desire to publish, the novel might seem to advocate a kind of quietism. 35 When Esther’s upstairs neighbour is arrested as the Harrow Road murderer, media attention forces her to sell her flat. In retreat from the social connectivity the episode demonstrates, she then decides to move to Italy. The novel, in fact, is an enactment of Alix’s perception of ‘the social structure’ as ‘a vast web, a vast network’ in which ‘we are all but a part of a whole which has its own, its distinct, its other meaning’ (pp.

The earth deepens to a more profound red. The sun bleeds, the earth bleeds. The sun stands still. (p. 396) The stasis of this conclusion embodies a curious ambivalence in which the progression from radiance to an image of blood and suffering is interrupted by the checked sunset. It is the narrator’s artifice, in effect, that arrests the characters’ attention, and that underscores the difficulty of weaving a cohesive social web or network in fiction. This challenging ending achieves in miniature that which the novel attempts as a whole.

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