One of the last major untranslated works by France's most controversial author, London Bridge is a riotous novel about the London underworld during World War I. Picking up where Guignol's Band (1944; English translation 1954) left off, Celine's autobiographical narrator recounts his disastrous partnership with a mystical Frenchman (intent on financing a trip to Tibet by winning a gas-mask competition); his uneasy relationship with London's pimps and whores and their common nemesis, Inspector Matthew of Scotland Yard; and, most scandalously, his affair with a baronet's 14-year-old daughter, an English angel whose descent into vice is suspiciously smooth. He dreams of escaping with her to America to start a new life, but he, his mystical partner, and his underaged mistress finally awake to reality crossing windswept London Bridge. Written in his trademark style--a headlong rush of slang, brusque observation, and quirky lyricism, delivered in machine-gun bursts of prose and ellipses--Celine re-creates the dark days during the Great War with sordid verisimilitude and desperate hilarity, expertly captured in Dominic Di Bernardi's racy translation.
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