Adam Mars-Jones, The Observer: “Joseph Connolly specialises in sardonic period melodramas whose characters he either harshly cherishes or affectionately despises - it's hard to resolve the nuance, which is part of the sour fun of reading him. This is not a novelist who traffics in obvious outcomes ... he knows exactly what he's doing, in an immensely contrived, sophisticated and satisfying game”.
See videos of interviews with Joseph Connolly about ENGLAND'S LANE
Richard Littlejohn: “The best novel I have read this year”.
The Lady: “By a Master of the comic novel”.
Daily Mail: “Flitting in and out of the minds of the major characters, Connolly unfolds a rich and compelling drama of life that is anything but everyday. With Dickensian attention to detail, trademark black humour and a genuine love for his characters, Connolly's eleventh novel may well be his masterpiece”.
The Times: “The tone is intimate, which makes the dark spots all the more chilling”.
The Guardian: “Joseph Connolly takes us back to the golden age of high street shopping in his eleventh novel. He captures the eponymous street midway between the end of wartime rationing and the rise of the out of town supermarket, and relishes the paraphernalia of the late 1950s. He is a writer who specialises in convoluted social comedies with a dark undertone - and there is a lot of fun to be had along the way”.
The Sunday Telegraph: “England's Lane is a novel of voices. Of voices shaped by time and place and class. The novel is not short of incident, and Connolly has a keen sense of the hushed emotional tenderness of English life and our silent shattering pain”.
Time Out: “Connolly's expert character craft means the story never confuses. So unique is each character's vernacular that, even in busy scenes, it's always obvious who's speaking. But it's the detail that makes the book shine: from the period brand names to the clothes, make-up and language. A darkly humorous, colourful and deliciously indulgent caricature of a rampant post War England”.
Hampstead & Highgate Express: “Connolly really excels as a stylist. The story quickly gathers momentum, roars into life and becomes as gripping and unique a read as anything you are likely to encounter”.
Allan Massie, The Scotsman: “Much of the novel is interior monologue, and Connolly switches from one voice to another abruptly and quite often without any indication of the change. It's a way of writing he has made his own, and it is very effective. There are many attractive things about Connolly's novels - the total effect is pleasing and invigorating. There is no other novelist today who writes quite like Connolly. He may be an acquired taste, but it is a taste well worth acquiring”.
Interviews downloadable as PDFs from here...
Winter 1959. Three married couples: each living above their shops in England's Lane. Each with an only child, and each attending to family and their livelihoods. Each of them living a lie, disguising sin, and coping in the only way they know how.
Published 31st August 2012 by Quercus. Hardback. Trade paperback. E-book.
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You are welcome to browse the various pages of the Joseph Connolly Website. Pretty much all the relevant information is here – but the real point of all authors is, of course, just the books (and in particular the novels). It is hoped that these are what you will read next.
Joseph Connolly is the critically acclaimed writer of ten novels published by Faber & Faber (all of which are in print) as well as eleven non-fiction works including biographies of P.G. Wodehouse and Jerome K. Jerome.
Fiction: POOR SOULS, THIS IS IT, STUFF, SUMMER THINGS which was made into an internationally successful film starring Charlotte Rampling, WINTER BREAKS, IT CAN’T GO ON, S.O.S, THE WORKS, LOVE IS STRANGE, JACK THE LAD AND BLOODY MARY, ENGLAND'S LANE.
Non-fiction: COLLECTING MODERN FIRST EDITIONS, P.G. WODEHOUSE: AN ILLUSTRATED BIOGRAPHY, JEROME K. JEROME: A CRITICAL BIOGRAPHY, MODERN FIRST EDITIONS: THEIR VALUE TO COLLECTORS, THE PENGUIN BOOK QUIZ BOOK, CHILDREN’S MODERN FIRST EDITIONS, BESIDE THE SEASIDE, ALL SHOOK UP: A FLASH OF THE FIFTIES, CHRISTMAS, AND HOW TO SURVIVE IT, WODEHOUSE, FABER AND FABER: Eighty Years Of Book Cover Design.
In 2009, Joseph Connolly was appointed restaurant reviewer for the weekly London newspaper The Hampstead & Highgate Express (Ham & High). Please see the Restaurant Reviews in this website which carries all the reviews to date, and will be regularly updated as each new review appears.