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Night and the City Paperback – October 30, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: I Books (October 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743413040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743413046
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,387,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gerald Kersh (1911-1968) was born in Teddington-on-Thames, London and died penniless as an American citizen in Kingston, New York. He wrote over 1,000 articles, 400 short stories, and 19 novels. His account of infantry training They Die With Their Boots Clean (1941), became an instant best-seller during World War Two, and launched Kersh on a glittering career. Tax, health and personal problems in later life did not prevent Kersh from writing forgotten masterpieces like Prelude To A Certain Midnight (1947), Fowlers End (1957), The Implacable Hunter (1961) And The Angel And The Cuckoo (1966)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Reader in Tokyo on February 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book was published in 1938. It's Gerald Kersh's best-known work, a memorable 20th century novel of the London netherworld and one of the better examples of British noir.

It depicted the fall of a small-time crook who'd do anything for money and the rise of an artist who struggled to protect his creativity. It blended a concern with depravity and morality with an exuberant style. It's been called a cross between Graham Greene and the American hard-boiled school.

The most memorable character was the crook, Harry Fabian, obsessed with his own reputation and desires, dreaming of the big time, needing always to impress. Linked to him were a number of other characters, with problems of their own. The book was set in the West End and depicted parts of the London netherworld with which Kersh was clearly familiar: a nightclub, a wrestling hall, prostitution, blackmail, seedy bars, middlemen working on the edge of fraud. This was where the writing seemed especially strong.

The author must have delighted in showing all the voices he could do: West End, Cockney, educated crook, middle-class suburbanite, Jewish businessman and working women -- and Fabian himself, a London native who liked speaking American. In one segment, the author even wrote from the point of view of a cat. Other sections excelled in showing the psychology of the morally flawed: a compulsive liar, a compulsive buyer, a gambler, and in describing assorted other bizarre characters.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S Smyth on January 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
He's a guy who'd blackmail a man with a dying wife; sacrifice an aging wrestler in a fight for a meagre profit; sell his prostitute girlfriend, whom he lives off, to white-slavers. He's Harry Fabian, one of London town's low-life, with a humble, street-trader brother that loves him all the same.
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By wrichard on December 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Henry Fabian is an out and out villain on the make, a pimp and a blackmailer. He inhabits a world of clip joints, brothels and dodgy clubs, all of which makes for an interesting novel. The London Books Classics edition is easy to read with clear print. The introduction by John King sets the scene for new generation of readers. It is a book that deserves not to be forgotten.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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 he'd worked as hard at honesty as he did trying to make the big score, he likely would have succeeded.

But his aim to be a big fish in the pond is fueled by the American films he devoured, the tough guys in the films that thumbed their noses at the straight world. he never seemed to get that they all fell in the end.

He's a pretty loathsome character that sells his girl friend to men and keeps most of the money, all the while pretending he's a big shot, drinking and gambling most of it away.

His current aim is to be a wrestling promoter, seeing the big dollars he thinks will come his way, all the while hustling around for start-up money, then flashes it all away being the big man he claims.

Others get caught up in his schemes as well, though some try to pull away. There's Helen the secretary that wants more out of life. Her bou friend Adam wants to be a sculptor. Zoe is the woman keeping him up and doesn't know he has his eyes on another woman and plans to sell her to white slavers.

London is cleaning up the town for the Coronation ceremonies and that proves the end for all concerned.

Liked this novel by the British authorA most interesting novel highlighting the underbelly of London.
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By Paul D Brazill on August 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Rich and darkly beautiful. Cruel and funny. Marvelous.
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