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Night and the City

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  98 ratings  ·  12 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)
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David
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
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
Andrew Vachss
Gerald Kersh, who found the flowers in Hell.
Randy
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
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
"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
Zvi
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.
Wayne Ison
Excellent read, entertaining plot, fast moving. Bogs down slightly in middle section, however overall well recommended.
John Allen
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
Marc Glendening insists I read this book or he will section me.
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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
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