Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Night and the City” as Want to Read:
Night and the City
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Night and the City

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  133 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Harry Fabian is a ponce, a Flash Harry in an expensive suit, a cockney wide boy who adopts American tones and talks big, yet will never make it to the top. He operates in the Soho of the 1930s, a metropolitan tangle of dodgy geezers, prostitutes, spivs and strong-arm men. Twice filmed, Night and the City is a seminal low-life novel, which presents a vivid glimpse of a lost ...more
Hardcover, Harlequin Romance #45
Published 1946 by Simon and Schuster (first published 1938)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Night and the City, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Night and the City

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 489)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Franky
Oct 31, 2015 Franky rated it really liked it
Shelves: noir
“Many commercial gentlemen are called ‘businessmen’ until they are found out; then they are described as ‘crooks.’”

Look up chump—or for that matter, mug-- in the dictionary and you might see Harry Fabian’s face. A man with a plan, you might call him. Always has something up his sleeve. Wrestling racket? A means to get ahead, staying in front of the other mugs…A hustler on the move…

Within this novel, even the title takes on a bit of symbolism and significance. Night is the time when deals are ma
...more
David
Dec 24, 2008 David rated it really liked it
This terrific noir of 1930’s London was a revelation, even though I had seen the fine 1950 movie w/ Richard Widmark, I knew that things would be more vicious and degenerate than the movie. But the real splendor of the novel is the prose, or should I say the dialogue – this would make a fabulous audiobook for a skilled actor or troupe. The prose is a clamor of London voices, high and low, and at the middle of this Dickensian hubbub is one of the most magnificent scoundrels ever written, the grand ...more
Rob
Feb 21, 2009 Rob rated it liked it
This is a novel well worth reading, for its strengths are immense, as Kersh delves not so much into the underworld, as the book cover would have had me believe, as the depths of the minds and souls of hustlers, specifically Harry Fabian, who is the fully realized and totally repugnant star of this story. Harry is a delusional fool who abuses the trust of others, including that of the woman he purportedly loves, and his ambition drives the story. But he's obviously a loser from the start, and it' ...more
J2e
Aug 12, 2015 J2e rated it really liked it
Sometimes you have to wonder at American reviewers who claim the States produced a crop of hard boiled writers in the 1930s; compared to the British most of them were as hard boiled as an old dish cloth. Forget Richard Widmark's happy go lucky rogue in Jules Dassin's film adaptation of Kersh's novel. Fabian is utterly heartless, and I mean worse than that. If he has a redeeming feature it might be that he seems unaware of how others take advantage of him. The others include his girlfriend Zoe, w ...more
Andrew Vachss
Nov 15, 2009 Andrew Vachss rated it it was amazing
Gerald Kersh, who found the flowers in Hell.
Moloch
Feb 17, 2015 Moloch rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Moloch by: Articolo Corsera
Più di dieci anni: tanto ha dovuto aspettare questo libro dal momento in cui ne lessi una recensione sul Corriere della Sera (maggio 2003) a quello in cui finalmente l'ho preso dallo scaffale e letto (ottobre 2013). Al punto che ormai questa edizione che ho è fuori commercio.

Londra, 1938. Harry Fabian è un delinquentello di mezza tacca, sempre alla ricerca di modi per far soldi che poi puntualmente scialacqua subito in alcol, scommesse, bei vestiti e spesucce varie, vive sfruttando i guadagni de
...more
Randy
Aug 22, 2013 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A most interesting novel highlighting the underbelly of London. Set in the months before George VI's coronation(1936), we see a different sort of life> The characters here are what would be considered lower class, in the mores of the time and their actions. But some were just hard working folks trying to survive the best way they could.

Harry Fabian is the unquestioned star of the book, a little man with delusions of grandeur that had the intelligence and drive to make something of himself. If
...more
David
Dec 24, 2008 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This terrific noir of 1930’s London was a revelation, even though I had seen the fine 1950 movie w/ Richard Widmark, I knew that things would be more vicious and degenerate than the movie. But the real splendor of the novel is the prose, or should I say the dialogue – this would make a fabulous audiobook for a skilled actor or troupe. The prose is a clamor of London voices, high and low, and at the middle of this Dickensian hubbub is one of the most magnificent scoundrels ever written, the grand ...more
Tosh
Aug 14, 2010 Tosh rated it really liked it
"Night and the City" is pretty amazing on different levels. On one end I don't think its a great novel, but as a portrait of a time, place, and a certain type of character its totally ace. Written in 1938 and mostly taking place in Soho London it is a snapshot of a group of hustlers trying to stay above the water-line of sorts.

The main character is Harry Fabian, who for god knows, should be a major iconic fiction figure. But alas, what we have here is a pimp who lives his life in a certain amou
...more
Paul Brazill
Jun 03, 2016 Paul Brazill rated it it was amazing
Gerald Kersh’s brilliant 1938 novel Night and the City is ‘a book I wish I’d written’, Rich and darkly beautiful. Cruel and funny. There’s a tidy introduction from John King in this edition, too.

The blurb: Harry Fabian is a ponce, a Flash Harry in an expensive suit, a cockney wide boy who adopts American tones and talks big, yet will never make it to the top. He operates in the Soho of the 1930s, a metropolitan tangle of dodgy geezers, prostitutes, spivs and strong-arm men. Twice filmed, Night a
...more
Zvi
Jan 29, 2014 Zvi rated it really liked it
Excellent for its glimpse into the world of con men, pimps, wrestlers, escorts, club-owners, businessmen and criminals in London between the wars. Soaked with colour and life, of a particularly vile kind. Some of the asides of the author are a bit over the top but the sharp characterization and dialog is unbeatable.
Kevin
Feb 10, 2016 Kevin rated it it was ok
Dusty and misogynistic (even after the genre discount) London noir, set pre-WWII, but published just after. The jacket art has it all over the prose, which is pedestrian and repetitive.
Wayne Ison
Jan 10, 2014 Wayne Ison rated it liked it
Excellent read, entertaining plot, fast moving. Bogs down slightly in middle section, however overall well recommended.
J.W. Allen
Mar 07, 2013 J.W. Allen rated it really liked it
Good read and gives an awesome feel of what Soho was like in the 1930s. Class this as a buried treasure often lost in the celebrity pap that gets published a lot these days. If only Kersh were still alive today...
Michael Economy
Apr 05, 2014 Michael Economy marked it as interesting
recommened by william gibson in his goodreads interview
Robert Pereno
Aug 27, 2011 Robert Pereno rated it it was amazing
Marc Glendening insists I read this book or he will section me.
Anne
Anne marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2016
Miles
Miles marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2016
John
John rated it really liked it
Jun 20, 2016
Justin
Justin added it
Jun 17, 2016
Garrett R.
Garrett R. marked it as to-read
Jun 16, 2016
Sue Anne
Sue Anne marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2016
Jg Correa
Jg Correa marked it as to-read
May 26, 2016
Hayley
Hayley marked it as to-read
May 06, 2016
Steffi
Steffi marked it as to-read
May 05, 2016
James
James marked it as to-read
May 03, 2016
Jesserichards
Jesserichards marked it as to-read
Apr 27, 2016
Alexa Burks
Alexa Burks marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2016
Steve Read
Steve Read marked it as to-read
Apr 13, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16 17 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Burglar
  • The Fabulous Clipjoint
  • Little Caesar
  • Build My Gallows High
  • La cura del gorilla
  • My Sweet Untraceable You (Lauren Laurano, #3)
  • The Man of My Life
  • Morituri
  • I Should Have Stayed Home
  • Sideswipe: A Hoke Moseley Novel
  • Rendezvous in Black
  • Two Much
  • De hemel van Hollywood
  • Un giorno dopo l'altro
  • Never Cross a Vampire (Toby Peters, #5)
  • Fast One
  • Bandit Love
  • In a Lonely Place
54469
Gerald Kersh was born in Teddington-on-Thames, near London, and, like so many writers, quit school to take on a series of jobs -- salesman, baker, fish-and-chips cook, nightclub bouncer, freelance newspaper reporter and at the same time was writing his first two novels.

In 1937, his third published novel, Night and the City, hurled him into the front ranks of young British writers. Twenty novels la
...more
More about Gerald Kersh...

Share This Book