This is my farewell embrace to the polymorpheus people of Earlsfield, with whom I lived for ten years. Dedicated to the living and dead of Earlsfield, which was definitely the centre of the world when I was living in it.
Taking his inspiration from Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood, Louis de Bernières chose to celebrate his ten years of life in the south London suburb, living above a small shop that had been by turns an outlet for oversized naughty clothes for transvestites, a West Indian hairdressers and a junk shop, by writing of the people that he had known and come to love in his time there.
Brilliantly capturing the myriad voices of modern Britain, with their different rhythms of speech and accents, their humour and their tragedy, jokes and gossip, de Bernières' tour de force takes us to the heart of a community and its spirit - the lives and loves, the tears and the laughter of its people.
“Louis de Bernieres is in the direct line that runs through Dickens and Evelyn Waugh... he has only to look into his world, one senses, for it to rush into reality, colours and touch and taste”