Paperback review: Up the Junction, By Neil Dunn
Saturday 31 August 2013
Nell Dunn's Up the Junction, a set of loosely linked vignettes of working-class London, caught a cultural mood when it was first published in 1963.
But this is no straightforward swinging-Sixties romp: Dunn's narrator is only half in love with the bright lights of the city, and ultimately more interested in documenting the harsh realities of poverty and back-street abortions in the Battersea slums. What's striking at this distance is not so much Dunn's frank depiction of female promiscuity – which caused quite a stir at the time – but her distinctive, pared-down style: the sketches are dialogue-heavy, interspersed with lyrics from pop songs and the odd potent descriptive phrase: "Great gusts of black smoke blow sideways out of the four chimneys of Fulham gasworks … the sky splits and black rain bounces off the river."
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre