Starting Over

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hangover Square

I came across Patrick Hamilton via the excellent BBC adaptation of his trilogy Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky. Hangover Square post-dates these novels and is centred on pre-WW2 Earls Court - and more specifically its boarding houses and pubs and those who inhabited these. George Harvey Bone lives an idle existance, obsessed with the undeservingly adored Netta, who manipulates his obsession to her own selfish advantage. Hangover Square depicts a drunken idle selfish lifestyle that would soon be broken by the advent of war. It shows this life from the perspective of an disillusioned and heart-broken insider, and ends of course, as it must, in tragedy. Hangover Square reveals loneliness, solitude and a sense that there is no future to aspire to. In more modern times Hamilton's depiction of schizophrenia rings less true and seems a forced device - no doubt this reflects contemporary views and beliefs - but for a slice of pre-war London (and forays into Brighton) life, engagingly written with the slang and conversational tones of the period, this is a fascinating read.


  • Thank for the reviews of all the books. Tell me do you review poetry? if so then have a look at my chapbook that came out last year, it can be read online at

    By Blogger David E. Patton, at 7:44 pm  

  • 'Slaves of Solitude' is also briliant.

    Part 3 of that BBC adaptation was one of the best things on TV for years.

    By Blogger joe mills, at 6:23 pm  

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