London Belongs to Me

By

It is Christmas 1938 with the prospect of war ever present, but daily life must go on. The setting is a lodging house, number 10 Dulcimer Street, occupied by a variety of characters under the supervision of the widowed Mrs Vizzard. Here is Mr Josser, returning with the clock he has received as a retirement present; Connie, a faded actress desperate for work, any type of work; Mr Puddy, making his weekly shopping list including tinned salmon, peaches, and tongue; and Percy Boon, a mechanic dealing in stolen cars and worse. They are all the sort of people that may populate any major city: the neighbours that cause net curtains to twitch, leading quite ordinary lives that are of enduring fascination to others, as actors in a soap opera. However, the mundane aspect changes when a murder and subsequent trial quickens the pace.

This is a character-driven story of séances, shabby gentility, and smoke-filled pubs. First published in 1945 and made into a successful film of the same name in 1948 starring Richard Attenborough in the role of Percy Boon, this latest edition is a welcome reminder of a novel where much happens, too much to summarise without spoiling the effect of the whole. A reminder of a bygone age, a great city, world-changing events, and the people who lived through it all.

 

Share this review

Buy "The Beggar at the Gate & Other Stories" for £2.05 (Kindle edition)

12 of the best stories selected from the 2012 Historical Novel Society Short Story Award

Details

Publisher

Published

Genre

Century

Price
(UK) £10.99
(CA) $19.00

ISBN
(UK) 9780141442334

Format
Paperback

Pages
732

Review

Appeared in

Reviewed by