The Slaves of Solitude

Patrick Hamilton David Lodge

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The Slaves of Solitude

The Slaves of Solitude By Patrick Hamilton David Lodge The Slaves of Solitude England in the middle of World War II a war that seems fated to go on forever a war that has become a way of life Heroic resistance is old hat Everything is in short supply and tempers are even sho

  • Title: The Slaves of Solitude
  • Author: Patrick Hamilton David Lodge
  • ISBN: 9781590172209
  • Page: 198
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Slaves of Solitude By Patrick Hamilton David Lodge England in the middle of World War II, a war that seems fated to go on forever, a war that has become a way of life Heroic resistance is old hat Everything is in short supply, and tempers are even shorter Overwhelmed by the terrors and rigors of the Blitz, middle aged Miss Roach has retreated to the relative safety and stupefying boredom of the suburban town of Thames LEngland in the middle of World War II, a war that seems fated to go on forever, a war that has become a way of life Heroic resistance is old hat Everything is in short supply, and tempers are even shorter Overwhelmed by the terrors and rigors of the Blitz, middle aged Miss Roach has retreated to the relative safety and stupefying boredom of the suburban town of Thames Lockdon, where she rents a room in a boarding house run by Mrs Payne There the savvy, sensible, decent, but all too meek Miss Roach endures the dinner table interrogations of Mr Thwaites and seeks to relieve her solitude by going out drinking and necking with a wayward American lieutenant Life is almost bearable until Vicki Kugelmann, a seeming friend, moves into the adjacent room That s when Miss Roach s troubles really begin.Recounting an epic battle of wills in the claustrophobic confines of the boarding house, Patrick Hamilton s The Slaves of Solitude, with a delightfully improbable heroine, is one of the finest and funniest books ever written about the trials of a lonely heart.
    The Slaves of Solitude By Patrick Hamilton David Lodge

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    One thought on “The Slaves of Solitude

    1. Jessica on said:

      Anyone who actually listens to my opinions and bases their library picks on my star ratings hi, mom deserves to know what the unusual fifth star represents My stars make zero effort at even an obviously subjective judgment of how good I think a book is Instead, the fourth star is a measure of how much I personally enjoy a book and find it engaging, while my elusive fifth star is granted when I feel a book has made enough of an impression on me that it s demonstrably changed my life.I honestly do [...]

    2. StevenGodin on said:

      Patrick Hamilton s The Slaves of Solitude may take place during the second world war, and does have a bleak sounding title, but you will find no death in the trenches or the destruction of whole towns and cities here, in fact, now thinking about it this has a feel like the old classic British sitcoms I remember as a child Set predominantly in a boarding house called the Rosamund Tea Rooms located by the river in Thames Lockdon to the west of London, which sees The heroine, Miss Roach, a single 3 [...]

    3. David on said:

      Of all the books I ve attempted to review on this website, none has given me trouble than Patrick Hamilton s The Slaves of Solitude I realize that there are two primary reasons for this critical reticence on my part 1 The quality control department of my review writing factory is in shambles The employees are mutinous, indifferent, and suffering from a midgrade malaise that causes them to spend their days using a bent hanger to fish free stuff out of the vending machine and trying out serif fon [...]

    4. Diane Barnes on said:

      Many, many, many thanks to Doug H for recommending this one In my opinion it is a perfect book, yes, a masterpiece, but don t ask me to tell you why It s one of those books that is the sum of it s parts It has some loathsome characters that you can t really hate too much Other characters who are good, but you don t really like them very much either The setting is a sad little boarding house just outside of London in 1943 Please God, never let me have to live in a boarding house There s Mr Thwait [...]

    5. Mariel on said:

      Old Roach Old Cockrock Driven out on to the streets, and walking about in the blackness, as she had done that night, months ago, before all this had begun Old Cockroach That was her That was how they had started with her, and that was how it would always be She might have known this she might have known better than to have suspected the possibility of any brighter destiny.If she hadn t cried herself out already, she could go back and cry But she had cried herself out It was all over now even tea [...]

    6. Jason on said:

      Once again I am guilty of loving a book for what are probably all the wrong reasons The jacket description of Hamilton s The Slaves of Solitude mentions an oppression brought on by World War II, a population redistribution into the rooming houses of London s suburbs to escape the Blitz, among other things , and a feeling of claustrophobia that results from this migratory shift, bringing strangers from different backgrounds into close proximity but without the sense of relief that a larger city l [...]

    7. [P] on said:

      When I was a kid my Dad would take me and my brother on holiday Being poor, what this meant was that we would be crammed onto a coach, with 50 other unhappy holidaymakers, and driven to one of the nearby seaside towns, Bridlington or Scarborough Once there, we would trawl around the near deserted town, whilst being spied on by suspicious looking seagulls We would mournfully cast our eyes over the cheap plastic souvenirs in the seemingly endless rows of local shops and kiosks before heading for a [...]

    8. Nigeyb on said:

      What a marvellous book I ve enjoyed four other Patrick Hamilton novels Hangover Square and the Gorse Trilogy and this is right up there with the best Hamilton returns to some of his familiar themes London, the War, and fascism Set in 1943 it deals with the ordinary lives of ordinary people As well as the battles facing Britain, there is one closer to home.The battle between the novel s protagonist Miss Roach, a shy spinster in her thirties, and the monstrous Mr Thwaites, with whom she has the mi [...]

    9. JSou on said:

      Who knew Patrick Hamilton had such a rough, crazy life Here s a few nuggets I read in his author bio after opening the cover His father was a bullying alcoholic comedian and historical novelist his mother, a sometime singer.After his mother withdrew him from Westminster School at the age of fifteenIn 1927 Hamilton fell unhappily in love with a prostituteIn 1932, he was badly injured and permanently disfigured after being hit by a car.Hamilton died of cirrhosis of the liver and kidney failure aft [...]

    10. Cphe on said:

      When I started this novel I didn t realise just how much I would enjoy it and come to caring about the very genteel and restrained Miss Roach Centered around the inhabitants of a boarding house during the Blitz of the second world war it s a wonderful character study of the inhabitants who reside there The story is mainly told through the eyes of the spinisterish Miss Roach and her battles with two of the residents, the bully Mr Thwaites and the very manipulative German woman Vicki.This was a ge [...]

    11. Jane on said:

      Had Charles Dickens travelled forward in time, had Muriel Spark travelled back, had they met in wartime London, they might have collaborated on this book 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, [...]

    12. Greg on said:

      Nick Hornby kind of hits the nail on the head with his blurb, that if you wanted to connect Dickens to Martin Amis with only one author Patrick Hamilton would be your author This has the great characterizations of Dickens but the nastiness moral depravity , neither of these words is quite right, oh well of M Amis This book is really close to being great, but there is something missing in it Maybe it needed a little to the story, maybe the German woman needed to be shown at least once from the s [...]

    13. Doug H on said:

      I don t enjoy reading rambling reviews of books, nor do I usually write them To me, there s something pompous and presumptuous about laying out paragraph after paragraph of personal musings and expecting anyone else to be all that interested in your thoughts With that said, here s my long rambling review of Patrick Hamilton s stellar The Slaves of Solitude There may be tangents, there may be quotes, there may be lots of gushing You ve been forewarned.I ve never read anything quite like this nove [...]

    14. Vit Babenco on said:

      The time is the dead of winter and the dead of war and the characters are the captives of a boarding house this apparent mortuary of desire and passion Thus looked at from outside, these guests in this dead and alive dining room, of this dead and alive house, of this dead and alive street, of this dead and alive little town in the grey, dead winter of the deadliest part of the most deadly war in history thus seen from a detached point of view, they presented an extraordinary spectacle The forsak [...]

    15. George K. on said:

      9 10 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Hangover Square Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky.

    16. Tfitoby on said:

      It s a well worn phrase in reviews of Slaves of Solitude but I ve never read anything quite like it either I m afraid This honest appraisal of life during wartime in Little Britain is shorn of all that saccharine roll out the barrels we re all in this together stuff that typifies the conversation about Londoners in the conflict with the Nasties and is all the powerful and important for it Apparently written, in the most part, in a partial drunken stupor from his bed in his own Thames Lockdon du [...]

    17. Jennifer (aka EM) on said:

      An interesting read after Brooklyn The Slaves of Solitude I just wrote that as salves of solitude, which would be a very different thing, wouldn t it anyhoo Miss Roach and TSoS s boarding house are in many ways but not all ways polar opposites of Eilis Lacey and her Brooklyn abode, and yet the experience with the one plays really nicely off of the other.I take note of this weird alchemy that occurs as books go from my to read to my currently reading list, because it s been happening to me all ye [...]

    18. Donna on said:

      The only thing a boarding house can t tell you about human nature is what it s like to have a helluva lot of money But it can tell you everything else, and will, whether you want to know or not Patrick Hamilton has such an excellent boarding house reach, the Rosamund Tea Rooms even tell us a thing or two about the war There s one going on between Mr Thwaites, an old bully who has it in for the spinster of the species, and Miss Roach, who just might be one From there on it s pure boarding house.T [...]

    19. Peter on said:

      Perfect opening paragraph for a London novelist and a flawless, Dickensian conclusion Absolutely brilliant And in between, we have the forlorn story of Miss Roach, a spinster who was only thirty nine, but might have been taken for forty five in a Henley on Thames boarding house with pink wall paper, which bore the mottled pattern of a disease of the flesh eating wartime dinners warm spam and mashed potatoes in the company of the odious, bullying Mr Thwaites the president in hell The town is grim [...]

    20. Jana on said:

      Sooooo satisfying I really enjoyed this one Maybe some of the best dialogue internal and external I ve read in a long while I have a thing for WWII settings This one mostly takes place in a boarding house outside of London, with some London scenes as well Great characters Miss Roach was wonderful company throughout I would like to have a gin and French with her any day The physical nyrb edition is an added plus In my dream library I d have 100s of these lovelies together and the orange Penguin e [...]

    21. Lorenzo Berardi on said:

      It seems like I became pretty hopeless in writing my book reviews in the last days It could be this persistent headache I feel from early morning till late evening It could be boredom It could be me.The problem is that now I know that I will not be able to do this novel any justice And that s a pity, as no one like Patrick Hamilton would deserve to get a good review Time could be such an unforgiving beast And what time does to magnificent but ill preserved books, yellowing their pages, piling du [...]

    22. David on said:

      Here s a buried treasure restored to the light of day Hamilton, who is best known these days for one of the great drinking books, Hangover Square, wrote The Slaves of Solitude some years later on the other side of the War, and brings a measured, benevolent sensibility to the book, as well as a far sympathetic and sober heroine in the decent, oft bewildered Miss Roach Not that there s a dearth of drinking, especially at the hands of an American Lieutenant stationed in a London suburb in 1943, w [...]

    23. Chris on said:

      This was SO fantastic I picked this book up based on a recommendation on the Barbara Pym Fan Club s Facebook page If you like Barbara Pym pick up this book And so I did And am so GLAD I did In typical Pym fashion, not a lot happens in this book it is a character study of people living in a boarding house on the outskirts of London during World War II Sounds boring, but it was excellent You can imagine what living in close quarters during a war does to people I d never heard of Hamilton, but com [...]

    24. Lobstergirl on said:

      Full of bullying and boozing, The Slaves of Solitude is nonetheless a comedy, mostly, and its villains end up being fairly harmless, unlike the ones in Hamilton s masterpiece Hangover Square Slaves takes place in the claustrophobic world of a suburban London boarding house during the Second World War Its residents, unmarried, shabby genteel, struggle to hold on to whatever shreds of privacy their rooms provide Down in the dining room, their business becomes everyone else s, and bullies hog and d [...]

    25. Doreen on said:

      Hamilton does so much well in this novel that it s hard to believe it is not well known or that it hasn t been made into a BBC mini series In some ways, my other favorite British WWII writer, Olivia Manning, falls into the same category of a sleeper novelist, someone who didn t produced much but should be known for what he she has written for one, Hamilton captures the horrors of urban and suburban life in 1940s England In an attempt to escape the blitz, a very real indisputable horror, the cas [...]

    26. Syl on said:

      A very slow paced book with nothing happening other than the showcasing of the almost stand still lives of the inmates of the Rose Inn at Thames Lockdon, a sleepy hamlet off the river Thames, nearby London World War II is in process, and it has affected the inmates only in terms of blackout and the unavailability of day to day utilities, and poor functioning of amenities Miss Roach, the central figure is a retired school mistress, who is now working for a small time publisher in London, and who [...]

    27. Daisy on said:

      What a gorgeous title I chose this book because I liked the sound of an English boarding house and its denizens during World War II, but I had no idea it would be so biting and honest and funny Beautifully written with intricate, recognizable characters What a world And don t forget what s going on in the rest of the world while this little boarding house is turned upside down Now I m reading the introduction afterwards I never read it first for fear it ll give too much a way Like all complete f [...]

    28. Katie Lumsden on said:

      It s been a joy to rediscover Patrick Hamilton His writing is wonderful, witty, clever, and he captures his Era and his character so brilliantly I definitely need to read by him.

    29. Patrick Johns on said:

      I normally start off by pointing out a few grammatical errors, stylistic faults, inconsistencies, factual errors, or references to non existent pieces of classical music But I am afraid this is one book I am unable to fault I actually loved this book, the characters, the atmosphere, the visualization, the structure and probably most of all the language, especially the dialogue.Obviously one is reminded of Graham Greene although this lacks the violence and explicit menace of say Brighton Rock I a [...]

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