City of Spades


Today’s book purchase is a secondhand copy of the first novel in Colin MacInnes’ London trilogy (Absolute Beginners and Mr Love and Justice were the others). City of Spades was first published in 1957 but this is the 1985 reissue with a cover by Neville Brody which is the main reason for my picking it up. The books were reprinted in the mid-Eighties to coincide with the release of Julien Temple’s dreadful musical adaptation of Absolute Beginners, a film that must have done a lot to drive people away from MacInnes’ books; it certainly had that effect on me. Brody supplied all the faux-pulp covers for the reissued series.

MacInnes is remembered now by contemporary writers like Iain Sinclair for his pungent documenting of London lowlife. He was also something of a pioneer in writing about the Fifties’ gay scene in a matter-of-fact manner. You can read more about his works here.

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