More John Lanchester (previously), this time fictional, and more specifically the book that he was promoting last year when he came to my attention.
I don’t tend to read much fiction, and have been mostly working my way through Lanchester’s essays on The London Review of Books. If you like doomish / düster writing you’ll probably enjoy his non-fiction work. Capital, on the other hand, has a far lighter touch, and really envoked the feeling of London for me.
London as a city has a very distinct feel. Even more so since my visits there have become increasingly infrequent. It may also be an indication of my change of circumstances, but the relationship is far from obvious. While living in Islington, studying in East London (between Mile End and Stepney Green – pretty salubrious surroundings…) and working out in the far North-West (Chesham, maybe not London proper but Bucks, Middx?) i never felt the degree of inequality that is so obvious in recent years. Yes, there have always been homeless, and there have always been old monied sorts running around Sloane Square, but somehow it wasn’t as glaringly front and centre as it feels now.
And, it’s not really giving anything away to say that is what Capital is about. Well worth the time to read, especially if you’ve any sort of connection with London over the last 25 years.