Posted 20 hours ago

London Belongs to Me (Penguin Modern Classics)

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Same general technique – we follow an array of characters as they go through their lives, meet tragedy and triumph, and interact with each other. It is another of the titles which Penguin re-released in their `Modern Classics' within the last decade, many of them, like this, wonderfully well written `minor classics' which sounds derogatory, but is kind of accurate.

Not a period piece at that time, but very familiar territory to people who had been young in the 30s, that is, people of my parents\’ generation. We are introduced to the lonely landlady, in whose house the main characters live, the ageing glamour girl with an eye to the main chance, and my favourite characters, Mr. I’ve never had time to listen but now I’m unemployed and will have to go back and start listening to all of them from the beginning (which will undoubtedly add even more books to the TBR list. But, as soon as you’ve read the first chapter and are immersed in the colourful, lively, hilarious and often touching world of the inhabitants of 10 Dulcimer Street, any trepidation falls away, and you become lost within the streets of prewar London.

I was delighted to find that the novel was adapted into a film quite quickly after publication and is available on youtube – I already can’t wait to absorb myself back into the world of Dulcimer Street! Her face perpetually made up in a doll-like mask, she forces her way into the lives of the inhabitants of Dulcimer Street, never one to miss the opportunity for a gossip, or a free meal, living hand to mouth as she does since the boards have given her up. So far as he and Hitler were concerned they seemed to get along without telling each other anything. Well, how about Norman Collins – as well as author of 16 novels, he was controller of television at the BBC, and co-founder of independent television in the UK. It was based on the novel London Belongs to Me by Norman Collins, which was also the basis for a seven-part series made by Thames Television shown in 1977.

Upright and unsagging, formal and frigid, austerely dressed all in black with the lace cuffs which went out with Edward the Seventh, ‘she was the only person in London still wearing (them)’.

The trustworthy lovers of Bridget [Jones’s] single girl, younger days in London are going to adore London Belongs to Me, the story of a girl (who could be Bridget’s younger American cousin! This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an introduction by Ed Glinert, author of The London Compendium. However, life begins to change for the inhabitants of Dulcimer Street as Doris moves out, a mysterious Mr Squales moves into the spare room in Mrs Vizzard’s basement, Percy’s criminal doings catch up with him, and the war starts to become an ever likelier possibility. London Belongs to Me is a love letter to London and even the most skeptical or cynical readers will surrender to the many delights of this compelling narrative.

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