Room at the Top

Front Cover
Penguin Books, 1959 - Fiction - 234 pages
"I was the devil of a fellow, I was the lover of a married woman, I was taking out the daughter of one of the richest man in Warley, there wasn't a damn thing I couldn't do".

Ruthlessly ambitious, Joe Lampton rises swiftly from the petty bureaucracy of local government into the unfamiliar world of inherited wealth, fast cars and glamorous women. But the price of his success is high. Betrayal and tragedy strike as the original "angry young man" of the 1950s pursues his goals.

About the author (1959)

John Braine, a Yorkshireman by birth and inclination, started to write Room at the Top (1957) while hospitalized and recovering from tuberculosis. It is the story of a man obsessed by the need for success. The film version of Room at the Top won film honors in Great Britain and was widely acclaimed in the United States. From the Hand of the Hunter deals with the fight against failure by a tubercular. Life at the Top (1962) is about the hero of Room at the Top after he marries the boss's daughter. Critics consider The Jealous God (1964), as Braine's best novel since Room at the Top. Waiting for Sheila (1976), Braine's most interesting formal experiment, occurs in a single evening during which the protagonist recounts the failures of his past and present. Braine's theme of aggressive ambition and determination to break through rigid social barriers, expressed in both Room at the Top and Life at the Top, identified him as one of the "angry young men" of the 1950s. Braine died in 1986.

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