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Hangover Square Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Europa Editions
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781933372068
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933372068
  • ASIN: 1933372060
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 816 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,214,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Amazon.com: 21 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A Great Book. June 11 2008
By Shocker Fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Hangover Square is centered around a group of young Brits drinking their way through 1939. It has a plot that slowly builds and eventually serves to expose the motives of all those involved. It recalls the tone created around liquor in The Sun Also Rises but with deeper character development (and as far as drinking goes- these guys are right there with that infamous group).

At its core is the book's main character, George Harvey Bone. George is obsessed with Netta Longdon for reasons that, I must admit, are completely unclear to me as she is one of the coldest and calculating women imaginable. A true femme fetale, really. She keeps punishing George and the poor sap just keeps coming back for more. In the midst of all this George has bouts with schizophrenia and 'moods' that severely hamper him and ultimately cause him to plot his revenge on everyone that he perceives as ever having wronged him.

Lots of novels have been written around drink with young drunks at their core, but nothing I've read has gone quite this deep into the allures of inebriation. However what really elevates Hangover Square is the manner in which the subtle charms and peaceful bliss of sobriety are also unearthed. One character sums it up by wondering if the hangover and the night before occurred in reverse chronology, would we even drink in the first place ? This inner calm of sobriety might be best exemplified by George's golf outing. It is an afternoon that proves to be both an escape from his mates and a confidence builder to be rewarded later by an 'in crowd', that opposed to his clique, actually possess some redeeming qualities. For the time being, he is validated.

I found Hangover Square in an odd way. I read a scathing review of a new novel by the book critic of The Atlantic wherein he blasted the new release that everyone else was raving about. His blanket negativity, in some weird way, fascinated me. So I looked into the guy and saw that he pretty much hated EVERYTHING. The web is a wonderful thing, so I took it on myself to find something- anything, that this critic found acceptable. Eventually I found something that he actually liked and it was Hangover Square, so I thought I'd read it. I am grateful that I did.

The journey is the reward here. 'Literary thriller' is an overused term, but here it is a very accurate description as plot, characterization and a life outlook all combine brilliantly. Patrick Hamilton's writing style is a direct one and a pleasure to read. The book grabbed me from the beginning. It covers all the bases and contains some wonderfully euphoric passages, but know that in the end it is a sad tale with a sad ending.

A great book - read it.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
One of the best Jan. 17 2006
By Cow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Criminally unknown and unheralded stateside, this book ranks alongside Julian MacLaren-Ross' "Of Love & Hunger" as a 20th century classic and, on the evidence currently cluttering up the bookshops and Oprah's club, will probably remain an unchallenged classic throughout the 21st century.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
dark & tortured life in London Jan. 11 2010
By vs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
George Harvey Bone has schizophrenia. Is his life dark and tortured because of that? or does he have schizophrenia because his life is dark and tortured? Life in London in 1939 for George and his peers does look dark and bleak in itself, but George seems to be much more vulnerable than anybody, and much more vulnerable than Netta, young woman he has a misfortune to be madly in love with, who has sensitivity of a fish, according to Hamilton's description.

Most of the people surrounding Bone have fun at his expense, including Netta. George does recognize this, but he has no willpower to break out of this situation, so he keeps suffering, and this mental suffering probably contributes to his schizophrenic spells, during which he nurses murderous thoughts.

This book brings to mind both Idiot and The Insulted and Humiliated by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and this is not too huge an exaggeration: Hamilton does create very powerful and gripping characters, narrative and social scenery, so comparison with Dostoevsky at least gives one a proper framework to place both Hangover Square and The Slaves of Solitude.

Lots of details, very clear and powerful language - this book deserves to be much better known than, say, "The Collector" by Fowles, but... when they asked Beethoven why his 8th is much less popular than his 7th, he replied: "But it's so much better, that's why!"
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Tale of unrequited love in the grimy streets of WW2 London Nov. 25 1997
By davidbryant - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Simple, stupid George is in with a bad crowd - the sinister Peter, his crowd of unemployed hangers-on and the beautiful but cruel Netta with whom George is love. Spurned over and over, humiliated and ultimately resented for his weakness, it becomes increasingly difficult not to offer George your greatest sympathy, even given his occasional psychotic episodes where he realises he must kill Netta and escape his flimsy existence. This tale is an intense and moving study into the pain of unrequited love.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
"If only you could have your morning-after first and your night-before afterwards, the problem of drinking would be simplified." Jan. 27 2010
By Mary Whipple - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Described by the [London] Daily Telegraph as "a criminally neglected British author," Patrick Hamilton wrote nine novels from the 1920s through the early 1950s, along with the famous dramas of Rope and Gaslight, and though he earned the admiration of a host of famous authors, from Graham Greene and Doris Lessing to Nick Hornby, he never achieved the popular success he deserved, either in his own time or throughout the twentieth century. In this decade, however, virtually all his novels have been reprinted in both Europe and in the US, and he is finally beginning to be recognized for his astute observations about his times and for his insights into the minds of his characters.

Indicating in the subtitle that this is "A story of darkest Earl's Court," Hangover Square is set in what was then a seamy, low-rent district of London, a place in which those who were down on their luck, out of work, or homeless could manage to scrounge through life. Bars and cheap entertainment provided evening activities for people who often did not get up before noon. George Harvey Bone, the main character here, is out of work. Like the other unemployed and under-employed people he associates with, he lives on the fringes of the entertainment business-part-time actors and actresses, managers, and movie makers who party long and hard, fueled by massive quantities of alcohol.

George's drinking might have triggered his earliest his "blackouts," but here they have become more frequent and more debilitating--psychotic episodes of schizophrenia which end with the demand that he kill Netta Longdon to save himself. Netta is a failed actress--a beautiful, spoiled, and manipulative woman who ignores George except when she wants money, a woman who sleeps around with his friends (though not with him), and uses him. He is so desperate for her attentions, however, that he allows himself to be degraded, always hoping that she will see him for the person he really is. As he is driven closer to the edge and as his "dead moods" get closer together, the suspense grows. "Getting killed would serve her jolly well right," he rationalizes.

The narrative line, which takes place inside George's head, is strong and emotionally affecting, and though many contemporary readers will be frustrated at George's passivity in the face of Netta's abuse, few will fail to empathize. Based in part on his own life, the novel is an intense psychological drama written by a man who became an alcoholic at a young age, after being disfigured in an accident. Frequently developing passionate but unrequited attachments, he wrote about these women in his novels. Famed actress Geraldine Fitzgerald was recognized as the model for Netta Longdon, something her obituary confirms. Mary Whipple

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