It’s fair to say you’ve made it in your writing career when your books are as anticipated as those of John King (The Football Factory), who as the saying goes needs no introduction to any sussed reader (though this is a good start). London Country (London Books, 2023) is a familiar canter through King’s authorly hinterland of West London (“Herbert Manor”), not only spliced and infused with more punk references than you could shake a mic stand at but revisiting three of his most popular and successful ‘cycle’ novels, Human Punk, White Trash and Skinheads.
London Country centres on familiar characters from those earlier novels, their personal crises and brushes with the judicial system, collapsing healthcare and occasionally boss sounds on tape and vinyl. Readers will be pleased to know that skinhead cabbie Hawkins makes an appearance amid the ruminations on the state of the nation, as Brexit hurtles from pinstriped gentlemen’s clubs and electoral fringe politics into daily life (King was once a leading light in the ‘Lexit’ No2EU coalition of trade unionists). Working class history writer and original skinhead Martin Knight was on hand to hear more.Continue reading