“London Belongs to Me” is the title of a 700-page novel by Norman Collins, first published in 1945 and re-published in Penguin Classics in 2008.  It’s Dickensian in its range of characters and detail of location, though not in its social purpose, and is set before and during World War II.  The milieu is South London, amongst what then would be called the lower middle classes, portrayed in all their variety, eccentricity, and with all their vices and virtues on display.  Astonishingly good.

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