Stewart Home – Down and Out in Shoreditch and Hoxton (The Do-Not Press)
Great – much more immediate than “69 Uses”. He’s got the drift from pulp into art crit, into “literature” locked down. Some laugh out loud moments for me, including the appearance of the International Communist Current in the middle of a long section of archaic wiccan prostitute ritual. And of course the true identity of Jack the Ripper, blended in expertly with tales of contemporary south hackney. One thing I’ve not seen mentioned in any of the reviews is that all of the paragraphs in the book are exactly one hundred words long. A bit like this one, in fact.
Alexander Baron – The Lowlife (The Harvill Press)
A proper anti-hero. They won’t ever make a film about this, because there’s very little theatre involved – just great musings, reflection, characters.
Needless to say, the irony of going to Spain and reading two books set in Hackney was not lost on me…