Metroland (Magill Book Reviews)
In 1963, at age thirteen, Christopher Lloyd and his sidekick Toni are sophisticated men of the world, at least as far as that is possible in the bland neighborhood of Metroland (railway jargon for their section of London). They model themselves on Charles Baudelaire, Theophile Gautier, and Gerard de Nerval, French decadents whose fondest ambition was to shock the complacency of a bourgeois world. Since they are too shy to find fulfillment in the arms of beautiful women, they must be content with spying on girls through binoculars.
Five years later, Christopher is in Paris doing graduate work in comparative literature. In a sidewalk cafe he meets an intellectual French coed with an interest in Lawrence Durrell, Robert Bresson, and foreigners. Christopher loses his virginity and falls deeply in love, but by the end of the term he is married to a Briton.
By 1977, Christopher owns a house back in his old neighborhood of Metroland, which has become a fashionable address. Formerly an advertising copywriter, he currently edits expensive coffeetable books. His friend, Toni--an aging radical -- stops by now and then to drink Chris’s liquor and argue about capitalist oppression.
These self-proclaimed hipsters never seem to know what is really happening. Conspicuously absent in Part 1, at least to an American reader, is an awareness of the British rock scene. Although this was the heyday of the Beatles, the Stones, and the Who, Christopher...
(The entire section is 368 words.)
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