The Gilt Kid

The Gilt Kid The first of a trilogy of novels by the undeservedly obscure James Curtis whose works rivalled those of his contemporaries Graham Greene and Christopher Isherwood Curtis after a middle class upbring

  • Title: The Gilt Kid
  • Author: James Curtis
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 321
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The first of a trilogy of novels by the undeservedly obscure James Curtis, whose works rivalled those of his contemporaries Graham Greene and Christopher Isherwood Curtis, after a middle class upbringing, embraced leftist politics and turned to the underworld, writing novels about criminals, prostitutes, and boxers After the 1930s he began a slide into obscurity, and todThe first of a trilogy of novels by the undeservedly obscure James Curtis, whose works rivalled those of his contemporaries Graham Greene and Christopher Isherwood Curtis, after a middle class upbringing, embraced leftist politics and turned to the underworld, writing novels about criminals, prostitutes, and boxers After the 1930s he began a slide into obscurity, and today is one of British literatures great missing persons.

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      Posted by:James Curtis
      Published :2019-02-17T23:40:38+00:00

    One thought on “The Gilt Kid”

    1. "In the cold truth, nobody in the world cared a damn about him. He was as lonely here, at liberty in the streets of London, as ever he had been, sitting on the floor of his locked cell in prison sewing mailbags. It was a hell of a life."Written in 1936 - and containing a cast of criminals, dossers, prostitutes and down-and-outs - this is an incredibly vivid and authentic evocation of a side of London seldom depicted in fiction during this era. Apparently James Curtis, the author, was a regular f [...]

    2. If not only a remarkable noir (and it is) "The Gilt Kid" is an important document of a certain type of crime underground life in London 1930's. London is almost a character in itself in this novel, along with our anti-hero The Gilt Kid, called that because he's blonde. A habit criminal who specializes in breaking into London flats and offices to steal, is sort of on an existential course between desire and living day-by-day. He's lonely but can't articulate his world via language, but by action [...]

    3. It’s 1935 and the Gilt Kid, fresh out of stir, has twenty three nicker and is ready for a wet. He’s a burglar by trade (“I got nicked for screwing. That’s my lark, really”) and the streets and pubs of prewar London are the Gilt Kid’s home patch, from Pimlico to Maida Vale. It’s a step or two down from the lowlife milieu of Patrick Hamilton’s London novels. James Curtis takes us deeper into the underworld of thieves, prostitutes, and rough-living bums – and that’s where we sta [...]

    4. solid read, which, as the intro points out, is both literary fiction and noir. its a trip back in time to the 30s underbelly version of London districts i know well - Soho, Pimlico, Hammersmith. the now obscure Curtis was from a middle class background but became steeped in the slang, outlook and preoccupations of the working class. this is an immersive and deeply authentic feeling piece, free from moralizing or judgement, sometimes bleak and always turbo and hectic

    5. This book is a good account of how easy it was to get immersed in a criminal lifestyle in 30s London. The main character takes the majority of the limelight but the lesser characters such as the homeless person in Trafalgar Square and the ex-con at court reflect on the social injustices of that time.There seems to be no consideration of what could wrong with taking the decisions that he does and maybe that shows the lack of hope that there was. Prison always beckons but it's a risk worth taking, [...]

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