Author Topic: Patrick Hamilton  (Read 4862 times)

Stax

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Re: Patrick Hamilton
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2013, 12:09:19 PM »
I've got the film on DVD, Stax (was bidding on them for ages but always gave up when they went over 40, got lucky a couple of years ago - about a tenner). Anyway, I was fully prepared to be really disappointed - as it could never contain the detail of the book - but it's great. In some ways the "editing" actually helps (the car door handle thing becomes more "fateful"). No spoiler alert needed - I don't think.

I've just had a look on ebay. Thanks to the public domain copywrite laws, copies of this are going for a couple of quid. I might have to invest.

Ady C

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Re: Patrick Hamilton
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2013, 06:11:37 AM »
All three books have arrived and the one I am reading is London Belongs To Me:  it's wonderfully written, not got far into it; in fact it's just introducing the characters in the lodging house. 
And will you shorten the sleeves, love? I'm not a gorilla.

Stax

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Re: Patrick Hamilton
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2013, 12:02:42 PM »
I found it quite strange at first, all those characters living in one house with their own spaces but with no mention of the word 'flats'. I then got engrossed in wondering how the kitchen would be used if they didn't have their own.

Soulstar

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Re: Patrick Hamilton
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2013, 01:57:37 PM »
I found it quite strange at first, all those characters living in one house with their own spaces but with no mention of the word 'flats'. I then got engrossed in wondering how the kitchen would be used if they didn't have their own.

It seems to be the (land)lady of the house or her typically downtrodden - but chippy -  cook that would do the cooking for the "guests" in those lodging houses. In one of P Hamilton's later books - The Slaves of Solitude - he really plays on the excruciating communal dining room thing.

Stax - yes, Kersh's wrestling / boxing promoter book was "Night & the City". It was adapted to film in America with either Robert de Niro or Harvey Keitel (I always get them mixed up). His real "must read" 'though, is "Fowler's End".

Ady, I genuinely envy you reading the book with fresh eyes.

Stax

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Re: Patrick Hamilton
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2013, 08:08:20 PM »
The thing with the book in LBTM is that it doesn't appear to be a guest house. Everyone seems to have their own living quarters which they've been in years. If I remember rightly there is a couple of instances where characters meet in the kitchen. I just find it hard to picture this sort of thing. I suppose it's a nicer version of 10 Rillington Place!

Did Night & the City transfer well to an American setting?

Soulstar

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Re: Patrick Hamilton
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2013, 09:14:07 AM »
You're right, Stax - they do just seem to be houses which are divided up. I know that when my Mum came to Notting Hill from Ireland in the 50's (not far from Rillington Place!) , the family lived in a couple of houses where they had the basement or first floor. Then, "Mrs Mcaree had the second, The Joneses were on 3rd ...etc". I s'pose the social housing landlords get a good few "bedsits" out of each floor now.

I haven't seen the film of Night and the City. Rightly or wrongly, if I watch a US adaptation I try to forget about what it's based on, otherwise I always feel disappointed.

Ady C

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Re: Patrick Hamilton
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2013, 04:51:06 PM »
Ah, I couldn't recommend it enough, Stax. That - and "Hangover Square" are great places to start (and I keep going back to them).

If you give him a go, let us know what you think.
Gents,
I'm about half way through LBTM.  I love the way the author subtlety develops the characters and their interaction and relationships with each other; the wittiness of some of the situations (Doreen coming round to the Jossers' for tea being one such scene) and the pathos, too (when Percy goes right across town unannounced to see Doris in her new flat; it's particularly touching as we have been inside his head as he becomes infatuated with her).  I've just reached the point where Mr Squales returns from his secret rendezvous, walks into the house and asks Mrs Vizzard, "Why did you follow me?"
Does Mr Puddy have a more central role as the story moves along?  So far he has been on the periphery in every way, what with him having the top room and working odd hours.  Mind you, I can't understand a damned word he speaks.
Socially, there have been a couple of things that I didn't expect of those times.  One was now nocturnal some of London life was back in the late 30s.  I thought that Britain shut at half nine at night but there is mention of 24 hour garages, all night cafes and Connie returning home in the small hours from working in nightclubs.  The other was that buses ran on Christmas Day and also that  people worked that day too as Mr Puddy goes to work his shift at the sorting office.
And will you shorten the sleeves, love? I'm not a gorilla.

Soulstar

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Re: Patrick Hamilton
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2013, 10:07:20 AM »
Sorry Ady - have just seen your post.
You've probably got there - but - Mr Puddy does get more focus.I remember finding his "speech" really difficult at first but I stopped trying to understand it and just re-read a few lines until it sounded like something that made sense and I became fluent! Did the same with "Trainspotting", as I recall.

I know what you mean about the "nightlife" pieces. I think it's always gone on - with establishments that are favoured by certain professions - "waiter's" cafes, "actor's bars" etc. You or I would be unaware of much of this (although a mate of mine who is "a friend" of London casinos has had me out all night a few times over the years,  to a succession of places I had no idea existed).  It seems to be just a parallel "shift" - serving those who work the unconventional hours. I s'pose it's less interesting and seedy now that the licensing laws have opened up.  However, as this thread isn't likely to be read by the masses - this is something you might like :
 
http://coolbarsforuncoolpeople.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/the-new-evaristo-club-aka-trishas.html   ;)

Glad you're liking the book!

Ady C

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Re: Patrick Hamilton
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2013, 04:26:53 PM »
Hi
Just seen your post (not been on the 'net for a couple of days).  Finished LBTM yesterday evening.  Excellent book.  I like the way that at the end it didn't tie up loose ends and bring it all to a neat conclusion but just showed that this was a snapshot of a year in the lives of those people.  I was touched by Connie's plight; I liked her and Tom's too showing how arbitrary life and death can be in war.  My favourite character, though, was Mr Squales.  Oh yes, he was a bounder and a cad but he was the architect of his own downfall and there were some truly wonderful comic scenes with him. 
Started "Hangover Square" last night (about forty pages of it).  He's on his way back to London on the train.  Very much looking forward to this one...
(thanks for link to the blog.  I will have a proper look at it soon).
And will you shorten the sleeves, love? I'm not a gorilla.

Soulstar

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Re: Patrick Hamilton
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2013, 01:19:35 PM »
Cheers Ady. Glad you're well into Hangover Sq (btw - my "avatar" is George Harvey Bone from the film adaptation).

Not sure if you chaps are aware of the Sohemians Society? They have irregular events in Soho covering seamier sides of London writing, music, social history etc.

Anyway, they have some great -low-key -events-unfortunately they're not great at announcing them - I heard just  today that tomorrow's talk is in conjunction with London Books who are just releasing a "new" Simon Blumenfeld book. Paolo Hewiitt is doing the intro.
Should be good - gutted that I can't make it.  Here's a link to their facebook page (their website updates are even slower).
Cheers.
Bill.