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The Angel and the Cuckoo - Gerald Kersh [b:The Angel and the Cuckoo|13095898|The Angel and the Cuckoo|Gerald Kersh|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1356127203s/13095898.jpg|18267977] by [a:Gerald Kersh|54469|Gerald Kersh|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1248374799p2/54469.jpg]

My first book by [a:Gerald Kersh|54469|Gerald Kersh|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1248374799p2/54469.jpg]. This edition of [b:The Angel and the Cuckoo|13095898|The Angel and the Cuckoo|Gerald Kersh|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1356127203s/13095898.jpg|18267977] is published by London Books who, as you may well know, are a hallmark of quality writing. London Books describes itself as "an independent publisher which aims to bring old and new fiction together in a tradition that is original in its subject matter, style and social concerns. We believe that the marginalised fiction of the past can be as relevant and exciting today as when it was first published, and our classic reprints will reflect the language and politics of tougher eras, while our new fiction will focus on emerging authors with something to say and a novel way of getting their messages across."

My appetite was well and truly whetted by Paul Duncan's informative introduction. It appears that many of [a:Gerald Kersh|54469|Gerald Kersh|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1248374799p2/54469.jpg]'s stories feature the grotesque and the bizarre, and frequently include characters from the fringes. This London novel travels through the 1930s depression, and the two World Wars, and it following artists, criminals, lovers, singers, conmen, film producers, writers and other lowlifes as they each follow their singular obsessions.

Steve Zobrany is the owner of The Angel And The Cuckoo café off Carnaby Street. Through Zobrany we meet the book's other key characters: the film producer Gèza Cseh, Alma Zobrany (Steve's wife), Tom Henceforth (a performance artist of sorts), and most memorably Perp the omnipotent criminal mastermind. To say any more is to ruin the book's pleasure, suffice to say that it is an imaginative and kaleidoscopic ride through a half imagined, half remembered London that is both plausible and pleasingly surreal.

In his day, [a:Gerald Kersh|54469|Gerald Kersh|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1248374799p2/54469.jpg] was a best selling author who, at one point, had four books in the top ten best selling list. I can quite see why. I've already started on my second Kersh ([b:Fowler's End|983345|Fowler's End|Gerald Kersh|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1180919034s/983345.jpg|905518]). I suspect it's the beginning of another literary love affair.