Goodbye to Soho by Clayton Littlewood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Be wary when someone tells you the sequel is better than the original, for this is almost never so.
In Dirty White Boy: Tales of Soho, we see the wonder and magic of Soho and through the eyes of the skilled narrator, we can understand it's charm.
This follow-up is a tale of loss, as Littlewood says:
"And I seem to have lost the will to write. Nothing seems that funny to me anymore. The excitement of living here long since drained away."
I believe it, I noticed it as well in the writing.
The author seems to have not spent enough time in Soho to have written this follow-up, so he pads it with brief flickers of autobiography. These are generally welcome, as when he details meeting Quentin Crisp:
"how could you possibly meet Quentin and not want to ask, ‘What was it like then? How did you get through it? Are you an angel sent to guide us?’"
but it's just not really what I came for.
I was moved by the whimsy and wonder of the first book, and while I loved seeing the familiar characters again, this book had a very different tone and the struggles of the author I feel took their toll.
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