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The Crying Game

By John Braine

“My new life began when my cousin Adam Keelby came into the Salisbury one muggy September evening.”

Frank Batcombe, an ambitious young reporter, has come down from Yorkshire to work on a tabloid newspaper in London’s Fleet Street. It is some time towards the tail end of the swinging sixties. He gets digs at the rundown end of the Kings Road and begins a desultory liaison with clever Theresa, who works on the woman’s page of the same paper. But, just finding his feet in the city, Frank is unwilling to commit.

Things look up when he runs into his stylish cousin Adam, a PR man, who lives in a smart flat in Hampstead and knows all the right people. Adam throws decadent bachelor parties, attended by models, debs, a gay photographer and lecherous MPs. When Frank’s editor puts him to work digging the dirt on an affair between a supposedly upright Labour politician and an attractive novelist these two worlds collide. Adam persuades Frank to move into the Hampstead flat, Theresa is ditched for louche Angela, a trust funded artist, and Frank seems set to make it in London’s media scene. But he soon finds that this hard living world can take it’s toll…

Now something of a classic, The Crying Game absolutely captures the sexy, brutal world of young men on the make in London, and the girls they exploit. But in the end John Braine also conveys a deeper sense of what is left, once the game is over.

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