The Slaves of Solitude
by Patrick Hamilton
has been republished on its 60th anniversary.
This is how it begins...
"London, the crouching monster, like every other monster has to breathe, and breathe it does in its own obscure, malignant way. Its vital oxygen is composed of suburban working men and women of all kinds, who every morning are sucked up through an infinitely complicated respiratory apparatus of trains and termini into the mighty congested lungs, held there for a number of hours, and then, in the evening, exhabled violently through the same channels."
Taking place mostly in the suburbs of London during WWII this is a lonely, and at times, hilarious novel. The heroine is ridiculous in many ways but so, so loveable. It's a dreary setting, it's a dreary time, it's a dreary life, but as I finished the novel I felt anything but.