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The Hard Shoulder
by Chris Petit
O'Grady comes home from jail to an Irish area of London weathering the harsh new climate of Mrs. Thatcher’s Britain. Though this is a place he recognizes, he now feels lost in it. His estranged wife has moved on, and the daughter he barely knows is living with a wealthy record producer. Alcohol and the random chances it brings begin to define his life. People offer him sch ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Granta UK
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A novel that should be better known. Ex-hard man, the lugubrious O'Grady, returns home from a long prison stretch to find the London he used to know has changed: 'the immigrants are more confident now,' he notes. Set in the dusty, boozy hinterlands of Kilburn and Wembley, Petit writes with economy and compassion as O'Grady attempts to understand the new, Thatcherite values the criminal fraternity have embraced - 'We're trading under a different name,' his old boss Ronnie tells him. O'Grady strug ...more