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All the Devils are Here

by David Seabrook

Go straight to the travel or non fiction section and rescue this book. It’s a trawl around the history, memories, sights and smells of Thanet and Medway. An unpromising subject, you may think, but what strange and troubling vibes this book uncovers. Reading it is like listening to the best pub storyteller you never met. Eerie, gripping and weird – you’ll never feel the same about getting on a train to Gravesend again.

Extract

Evenings. Dead-eyed drinkers six deep at the bars, not always alone but often unspeaking, unsmiling as if the pubs were cider houses and Rochester were Hardy country, far away. Staccato laughter strafing the Casino Rooms just off the High Street, where audiences are entertained by comedians such as X-Rated Jimmy Jones or Roy Chubby Brown, big men who tour England ceaselessly like lardy takes on the Ancient Mariner, bringing none of the poetry and all of the guilt. And finally, down by the station, all the year round, scores of prostitutes, some of them very young indeed and every soul desperate for trade.

Parallels

Lights Out for the Territory by Iain Sinclair
Voices of the Fire by Alan Moore
London - The Biography by Peter Ackroyd
 

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