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London E1
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Hamilton-esque books, authors.. > "London E1" by Robert Poole

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message 1: by Nigeyb (last edited Dec 02, 2015 09:19AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nigeyb | 3824 comments Mod
Mark wrote: "Amongst the ridiculous pile of books I bought during my trip to London a few weeks ago is one titled 'London E1' by a gentleman named Robert Poole, which was first published in 1961. I'm a bit less than half-way through it, but am already fully prepared to shout about it and heartily recommend it to most of you.

The present edition is published through Five Leaves, and features an introduction by Rachel Lichtenstein, which can be read in its entirety here:

Sounds blimmin marvellous Mark and worthy of its own thread.

Jimmy Wilson lives in London's East End, his father tending a barrow in Brick Lane, his mother taking in washing. We meet Jimmy playing in the streets as an eleven year old and again, after the war, twelve years later. Throughout the period he is infatuated with Pinkie, a mixed-race girl whose mother lives with "the Indians", then starting to move into the Brick Lane area as Jews move out. For Jimmy, Pinkie offers a new world, where he can improve himself, wear better clothes, get a decent job. This is London's East End in the 1940s - polyglot, violent, poor. We visit 'the local', the blitz and an all-day wedding feast. A vibrant area, but for Jimmy despair awaits when even his father steals from him. And how will Pinkie get on in these changing times? London E1 is introduced by Rachel Lichtenstien.

Mark Rubenstein | 1348 comments There's absolutely no risk of frustrating searches or paying extortionist-type costs for more pieces of the Robert Poole canon... because this one is it.


Which makes the purchase of London E1 roughly half the price of the complete works of Roland Camberton.

message 3: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 102 comments What a fascinating introduction to the book on that link. Thanks Mark.

Mark Rubenstein | 1348 comments My pleasure... always happy to help spread the good word!

Mark Rubenstein | 1348 comments I finished reading London E1 a few days ago, and happily report that I thought it was superb. Poole's recreation of a time and a place --and transporting the reader there-- was right up there alongside the the job Norman Collins did in London Belongs To Me.

The story line in E1 may require a bit of suspension in the Disbelief Department, at least here and there, but that didn't do a thing to distract from my overall enjoyment.

Nigeyb | 3824 comments Mod
^ Yep, agree with those comments Mark. I have finished reading London E1 by Robert Poole...

London E1 by Robert Poole

London E1 is well written and whilst no literary masterpiece it’s another essential read for anyone who enjoys London literature and working class writing.

Click here to read my full review


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