Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Patrick Hamilton

What a great writer Patrick Hamilton was. I’ve recently been reading up on writers describing the alcoholic condition, a kind of bibulography. It all started with Jack Kerouac’s tale of alcoholic breakdown in ‘Big Sur’, then travelled via Jack London’s ‘John Barleycorn’ ,Bukowski’s ‘Post Office’ and Charles Jackson's terrifying 'The Lost Weekend' to Patrick Hamilton, who unlike Kerouac and Bukowski, wasn’t writing thinly disguised autobiography but fiction enhanced by life experience. Read ‘Hangover Square’ it is a brilliant novel. Am currently in the middle of ‘Twenty Thousand streets under the Sky’, his great masterpiece and it is fantastic. Hamilton, for those who don’t know, wrote the plays that were made into the film ‘Gaslight’ and Hitchcock’s ‘The Rope’.


Curt Worden said...

Kerouac's Big Sur is a remarkable experience rooted in his alcoholism. Check out the website from a new documentary that focuses specifically on Kerouac's book - Big Sur.


Frances said...

Is addiction tied up with great creativity somehow? They often seem to go hand in hand.

McGuire said...

Hmm, I'm glad I discovered this post, never heard of Patrick Hamilton, and to be honest, I'm growing tired of reading Americans. I think I'll seek Hamilton out.

How you doing any way Shug?

It's been a, long dreary sprawling, time coming, but my wee book of poetry is almost complete. Can I impose a copy on you? I'll post it to you.

Hugh McMillan said...

would love one, Colin. Well done. Will be up in Glasgow this weekend to watch Queens and Aberdeen.