Monday, February 22, 2016

150 word review: CRAVEN HOUSE by Patrick Hamilton

Patrick Hamilton has a strange legacy; his fame is as the writer of two plays that were made into famous films GASLIGHT and ROPE but more importantly are the books he wrote before, during and after WWII which chronicle the pathetic lives of those who skulk in the shadows of London and commuter towns; nervy spinsters, predatory tarts and anonymous men who pass you by who might bore you at the pub, fleece you of your money or worse.

CRAVEN HOUSE was Hamilton's second novel, written in 1926 - revised in 1943 - and shows a 22 year old writer drawing on his unhappy upbringing - from middle-class affluence to reduced circumstances in drab rented rooms - but his writing draws attention to itself as he relentlessly shows over-literary archness while remorselessly ridiculing practically all his characters.

But the oddball occupants of the Craven boarding house point the way to greater works.

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