By December 9, 2011 11 Comments Read More →

Book Review: “The Last Busker in London and Other London Tales” by Garry Crystal

     I first became acquainted with Garry Crystal’s writing through his articles and essays and over the years quickly considered myself a fan as I eagerly awaited the next installment.  They were always insightful, well written and more times than not, made you think about whatever subject he was writing about – politics, social and life issues, current events, among many other subjects.  This is why I was thrilled with the release of his first collection of fiction, the eBook “The Last Busker in London and Other London Tales.”  The four short stories contained within have all the hallmarks of Crystal’s writing: crisp, clear language and a dash of humor and wit that often takes a bit of the edge off of what are sometimes harrowing tales of life on the streets of London – a life many visitors to that fair city rarely see.
My favorite of the four stories is the title story, “The Last Busker in London” – a Christmas tale of sorts, but one that takes the usual trappings of such stories and turns them on its head.  A beautifully written story about being alone and far away from home during the holiday season and what seemingly seems to be an act of Christmas cheer suddenly reveals itself to be anything but.  Crystal beautifully captures the mood of the season and the sense of being alone as he brings you along on this journey over the course of this cold, drunken and quite unexpected evening.
The other three tales, “Sunrise in The City,” – a man wakes up hungover in the back of a car only to discover his friend had stolen it; “The Terrorist on the Tube,” a story that comments on the rising paranoia since the start of the ‘War on Terror’ as well as about making snap judgments about people; and “How To Be Depressed in London,” which discusses the various ways to make your life difficult in a city that is not your own – various roommates, drinking, drugs, prostitutes – all done with a well honed dose of dry wit.
This collection is a great introduction to Garry Crystal’s fiction and I am one who hopes to see a lot more in the future.  You can’t go wrong with this collection of original, well written stories.   Available as ePub as well as Kindle releases.  Highly recommended.
Rating:  * * * * * 
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
Book Review: "The Last Busker in London and Other London Tales" by Garry Crystal, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Posted in: Creative
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About the Author:

Born and raised in New York City. I am a musician/writer/painter who has poems and short stories published in about 40 magazines and journals throughout the United States, Canada and Europe and also has 12 books under his belt:
"Standing On Lorimer Street Awaiting Crucifixion" (Alpha Beat Press, 1996), "The Terror of Your Cunt is The Beauty of Your Face" (Black Spring Press, 1999), "Street Gospel Mystical Intellectual Survival Codes" (Budget Press, 2000), "Scrape That Violin More Darkly Then Hover Like Smoke In The Air" (Black Spring Press, 2001), "Existential Labyrinths" (Black Spring Press, 2003), "Window Shopping For A New Crown of Thorns" (Lulu Press, 2007), "November Rust" (Lulu Press, 2007), "My Arrival Is Marked By Illuminating Stains" (Lulu Press 2007), "A Symphony of Olives" (Propaganda Press, 2009) and "Divertimiento" (Propaganda Press, 2009). His second novel "Naderia" was released in January 2011 and his third, "Be Still and Know That I Am" (Beat Corrida) was released in September 2011. He is also currently playing guitar and bass for NYC singer/songwriter Linda La Porte. View My Profile

  • Julian, Great article to post here. Thanks!

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  • Julian, what a great review, and Garry, you’ve written a book!!! How exciting, I’m really thrilled for you! Our new joint endeavor is off to a most promising start. Wonderful news!

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  • Thanks Dean! Melody!

    I figured I ought to post something here to get things started, and I immediately remembered this review. It’s a perfect one for the “launch.” Garry’s book is great. Highly recommended. 🙂

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  • Julian, great review of Garry’s work. I’ve recently discovered using Kindle apps for my laptop and just purchased this on Amazon, I’m really looking forward to enjoying it.

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    • Much appreciated Dan, you are one of the few 🙂

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  • Go Garry! I can’t wait till he publish more of his work! 🙂

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  • Thanks Julian for putting this great review up in Expats and for all the comments here. Appreciated. I need to definitely start adding some articles to Expats Post this week.

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  • You’re very welcome, Garry. It’s a great collection and I just wanted to help spread the word. Looking forward to more in the future. 🙂

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  • Cher Duncombe

    This is superb review, Julian and makes all of us want to read Garry’s book.

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  • Thank you Cher! 🙂

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  • I purchased this when it first came out. Loved the review and can’t wait for more of Garry’s work. 🙂

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