An amazing comic novel by Kersh (Night and The City). It's the tale of a young man who enters the peculiar underworld of Cockney Theatre, and quickly finds himself wrapped up in scams, treachery, nitro-glycerine and midgets. This bawdy, rollicking novel, featuring in Sam Yudenow the most fittingly peculiar dialogue since Sheridan's Mrs. Malaprop graced the stage, is the last to be written by Kersh. Published in 1957, only a year after The Ginger Man's runaway success in London, the work may have suffered by its release from a mainstream UK publisher. (Where were the censors?) So to guarantee success this time around, when we print Fowlers End, we're going to go the extra mile and make sure to have ads in the back for some of the most spectular Olympia titles. Kersh deserves no less.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Fowlers End is in London's outer suburbia and is quite possibly one of the most hellish places imaginable (geographically in the Edmonton/Ponders End area): a steel tube factory, a glass factory, the smokiest railway terminal in London, and a hideous chemical plant. It is in Fowlers End that Sam Yudenow, the proprietor of the Pantheon cinema, employs Daniel Laverock who, despite a ferocious appearance, is an educated middle class family failure, to manage the place. The story is told from Daniel Laverock's point of view. That said, there really isn't much of a story and the book is filled with dialogue, particularly from the memorable Sam Yudenow, whose mangled cockney yiddish is peppered with eclectic cliches, aphorisms, sayings etc. that have to be read to be believed. The extent to which you might enjoy this book will depend upon your tolerance for pages of this stuff. I thought it was amusing and readable. There are numerous other colourful and distinctive characters that populate the tale: Copper Baldwin (another Cinema employee), Godbolt (Yudenow’s business rival and nemesis), June Whistler (Laverock’s girlfriend), the Greek brother and sister, Costas and Kyra, who run Yudenow’s cafe, and many more. All of them are idiosyncratic, well drawn, and funny. This is the second book I have read by Gerald Kersh (the first was "The Angel and The Cuckoo") and I enjoyed both. Both books extensively feature London and, in both, Kersh evokes a version of the city that I recognise. A London of ordinary people trying to survive in a harsh environment. Set in the 1930s, and published in 1958, I'd say if you like books about London, particularly those set in the interwar period about ordinary working people, then this is well worth a read.
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
This book might have been reissued as a London classic, with a laudatory preface from Michael Moorcock, but it doesn't quite hit the mark. It comes close, with many terrific qualities. So the location (Fowler's End), a godforsaken outpost at the very edge of London's sprawl, is superbly described. It is filled with a cast of oddballs and misfits, themselves cast adrift from the centre of society. The Jewish vernacular used by book's chief antogonist is equally good. And there are various comic set-pieces that keep the reader interested. But as a whole the plot is weak and towards the end the book meanders without much purpose. Mainly I kept reading because of the strangeness of the historical time being described: London in the 1930s, written about in the 1950s. Such a sad, impoverished place, such a contrast to the versions of sadness and impoverishment we live with in the capital today.
The novel is Fowlers End (Simon & Shuster 1957). The central figure is the cinema proprietor, Sam Yudenow, a sly, cruel, greedy man with the most infectious ...
harlanellison.com/ kersh/ biog.htm
Fulsuric Imagination - TIME
FOWLERS END (337 pp.)—Gerald Kersh —Simon & Schuster ($3.95).Just as products containing poison are required to carry a warning label, this book should be ...
www.time.com/ time/ magazine/ article/ 0,9171,824989,00.html
Message Board - London Books
I've done "Night & The City" and "Fowlers End", any pointers on the rest of his ..... Anthony Burgess called his Fowlers End (1957) “one of the best comic ...
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Fowlers End (Fowlers End Libros Ingles Fiction General Olympiapress.com) N/A Olympiapress.com. Men Without Bones (Men Without Bones Libros Ingles Literary ...
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Contained herein are links and books in my personal collection (well, a few aren't...yet) in the general category of unusual literature, for which the best ...
188.8.131.52/ ~baum/ literary.html