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Caliban Shrieks Reviewed

Originally published in 1936, Jack Hilton’s recently unearthed ‘Caliban Shrieks’ is an essential addition to the proletarian literary canon of the early 20th century, writes Adelle Stripe:

"One of the most revealing aspects of Caliban Shrieks, Jack Hilton’s 1936 debut, is the pervading disdain for authority, whichever political persuasion that might be. Nobody is safe from his ire: Trade Unions, Conservatives, Liberals, Labour Party, Christians, police, prison workers, and even his fellow socialists. Part-polemic, part memoir, and mostly of the rhetorical persuasion, this raw and restless account of northern working-class life between the two world wars is told in a dizzying and often exhilarating prose style. Furious and enraged in many passages, and gleefully poetic in others, Hilton’s early work uses monologue, journalistic observations, and rich, descriptive reportage to dramatic effect. Unflinching, visceral, and candid in its desperate account of the everyday struggle of pitiful wages, he explores homelessness, military service and the ‘overcrowding, noise and revolting monotony’ of prison life..."

Read the full review at Caught by the River


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