London Triptych by Jonathan Kemp

London Triptych

Jonathan Kemp

An unusual novel describing and linking the lives of 3 gay men, spanning the years from the 18- to the 1990s and set in the same locations in the City of London. The narrative follows the changes in the law and attitude toward homosexuality and how these affect the lives of the characters who are vivid and realistic. The brilliance of the writing is the key feature and the inclusion of actual historical figures and incidents works really well.

Extract

1998
This night is the place from which I must move forward. I'm to be released tomorrow and resume my life, yet there are so many questions crowding my thoughts as I recall the events that led me here. When I walk out of here tomorrow morning, I would like to feel I'd left it all behind, but I brought it all in here with me and I'll take it with me when I go. The past has a crushing substance. I'm on a tightrope, high above the ground, assailed by fear and panic, no safety net beneath me. I daren't look down and I daren't look back. I don't know what tomorrow looks like. But I need to try, at least, to understand. I need you, of all people, to understand me. It's because of you, after all, that I ended up in prison.

Parallels
  • The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
  • The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
  • Fingersmith by Sarah Walters

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