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HomeNewsCaledonian Road by Andrew O’Hagan review – state-of-the-nation burlesque | Fiction

Caledonian Road by Andrew O’Hagan review – state-of-the-nation burlesque | Fiction

The city itself is the star of all great London novels, and plays whatever role is required by the tale or the times. It was a semi-sentient organism in Dickens’s Bleak House, wrapped in fog and thick with mud. It was rancorous and gone to seed in Patrick Hamilton’s Hangover Square; gauche and adventurous in Colin MacInnes’s Absolute Beginners and Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids cast it as a city of the blind, prowled by carnivorous walking plants. That probably remains fictional London’s lowest ebb. But at times, for dark stretches, Andrew O’Hagan’s seventh novel runs it close.

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