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: * * * * *
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]Book Review: "The Last Busker in London and Other London Tales" by Garry Crystal,
Tags: back of a car, busker, christmas cheer, current events, dry wit, ebook, garry crystal, hallmarks, harrowing tales, holiday season, julian gallo, life on the streets, paranoia, prostitutes, roommates, short stories, snap judgments, sorts, streets of london, sunrise in the city, trappings, war on terror