The Albion Beatnik Bookstore website (or how a bookshop once changed a light bulb)

The web page of the Albion Beatnik Bookstore in Oxford, now closed (as usual) for business: muses and misspills on books, jazz, poetry, stuff like false flags and smoke screen: was randomly decrepit and proven to be more than neo-bankrupt: it was so analogue it was anal and now deceased.

Colin MacInnes & London’s Jazz Age

Colin MacInnes, who died in 1976, is a fascinating novelist. He identified both the rise of the rebel teenage generation and an emergent multicultural London. He was openly gay at a time when to be so was an illegal and social taboo; he wrote about the urban decay, racial conflict, drugs, bisexuality and anarchy that permeated Notting Hill in the 1950s, the scene of race riots in 1958. This melting pot of youth and black immigrant culture is the backdrop to his early classics – City of Spades (1957), Absolute Beginners (1959), and Mr Love and Justice (1960) – all here in stock. Each is a vibrant read of a London when Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes were yet to give way to a 1960s rock culture.

A documentary film on Ronnie Scott’s Soho jazz club, a quotation from Colin MacInnes is used to set the tone early in…

cityspades absolutebeginners lovejustice

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This entry was posted on 1st December 2016 by in books, Colin MacInnes, Uncategorised and tagged , , .

News of Albion Beatnik Press

Two new series of titles – American Vintage and British Vintage – 24 titles to be published in 2019

Sarah Gillespie’s Queen Ithaca Blues

“Dipped in song, these are dizzying poems in which lovers are skyscrapers and words walk on wires between them.Bright with horror and stricken with laughter, Sarah Gillespie’s lyrical collection lives in the extremities, dealing with loss, vertigo and joy.” – Caroline Bird


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