No writer led as bizarre and eventful a life as the once celebrated Soho dandy Julian Maclaren-Ross (1912-64). In the course of 52 hectic years, he endured homelessness, alcoholism, drug addiction, and near-insanity. The world of Maclaren-Ross's writing tends to be the dingy, down-at-heel world of smoke-veiled bars, rented lodgings, blacked-out streets, and wartime army garrisons, first-hand experience lending his work a frisson of authenticity. Whether they're narrated in the breathless, slangy voice of an uneducated soldier, or the clipped cadences of a colonial 'expat', whether they're set on the French Riviera or wartime England, they're imprinted with Maclaren-Ross's unmistakable literary logo. The prevailing tone is casual, matter-of-fact, and laconic, with his characteristically mordant, humorous asides failing to conceal the melancholy that seeps through their harboiled surfaces.
Selected Stories - Julian Maclaren-Ross
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