Kersh's best-known and most-respected novel, published in 1946, is a Dickensian "slice o' life" look at London's underworld. Harry Fabian is a fast-talking con artist and kept man (read: pimp) who claims to have been a successful songwriter in America and tries to put together funding for all-in wrestling matches. We meet his girl, Zoe, and several comely dancer/prostitutes (Vi and Helen) as well as the criminal financiers and tough guys of postwar England. Not everyone is unsympathetic -- Adam, a nightclub waiter and manager who yearns to do sculpture and gets involved with Helen, has a certain ethic and moral grandeur -- but pretty much everyone gets crushed by the milieu. This novel inspired at least two namesake movies: a 1950 Jules Dassin noir starring Richard Widmark and Gene Tierney, and a much weaker 1990 remake with Robert De Niro and Jessica Lange.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus
He's a guy who'd blackmail a man with a dying wife; sacrifice an aging wrestler in a fight for a meagre profit; sell his prostitute girlfriend, whom he lives off, to white-slavers. He's Harry Fabian, one of London town's low-life, with a humble, street-trader brother that loves him all the same.
The review of this Book prepared by Charles Smyth