Caledonian Road by Andrew O’Hagan

With his latest title, Caledonian Road, Andrew O’Hagan (Andrew O’Hagan – Literature (britishcouncil.org)) has added to a tradition of novels set in London many of which reveal the zeitgeist of Britain and its capital city. (50 Books Set in London: A Literary Escape to London Town – Gone With The Family). Notable contributors to this tradition have been Charles Dickens, Anthony Powell, John Lanchester, Sebastian Faulks and Zadie Smith.

O’Hagan offers a sprawling tale featuring Campbell Flynn, an art historian, lecturer and occasional fashion critic terrified of losing his relevance. Flynn’s latest ruse is to employ an actor to take credit for his new self-help book, entitled “Why Men Weep in Their Cars”.

Be prepared to meet street thugs, immigrants, British aristocrats, political leaders, Russian oligarchs, human traffickers, and characters from the worlds of media, art, and fashion. All human life from post-pandemic Britain contained in 656 pages .

Stepping off the train at King’s Cross always did feel like encountering an ants’ nest on steroids. So many humans scurrying frantically about their business. So many on the make. So many casualties. O’Hagan does a good job conveying the madness and fascination of London.

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656 pages in Faber & Faber

ISBN 978-0571381357

First published 2024

Andrew O’Hagan
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