In the dirtiest, poorest, most woebegone corner of London is Fowlers End, one of the most godforsaken spots on the face of the earth. It is here that Daniel Laverock, starving and penniless at the height of the Great Depression, takes the only job he can find: manager of the Pantheon Theater, a dingy old silent cinema owned by Sam Yudenow. Yudenow, an incorrigible swindler and one of the greatest comic grotesques in English literature, at first seems merely an amusing old fool, but Laverock soon discovers he is actually a despicable scoundrel. And when one of Yudenow’s schemes finally goes too far, Laverock and his co-worker Copper Baldwin decide to teach him a lesson with a grand scheme of their own, with hilarious and unpredictable results.
First published in 1957, Fowlers End is thought by many to be the masterpiece of Gerald Kersh (1911-1968). A comic romp with echoes of Dickens, Rabelais, and The Beggar’s Opera, Kersh’s novel remains one of the funniest English novels of the 20th century and one of the best works of fiction ever written about London. This edition features an introduction by award-winning novelist and longtime Kersh admirer Michael Moorcock.