Welcome to the Palladium, Brickley. Once the grandest music-hall south of the river, now its peeling foyer is home to stale popcorn, a depressed manager, and a cast of disparate picturegoers who touch and shape each other’s destinies.
Amongst them is Mark, the cynical intellectual who seeks sensuality and finds spirituality; Clare, his girlfriend, who loses faith and discovers passion; Father Kipling, the scandalized priest; and Harry, the sexually frustrated Teddy boy.
In his astutely observed first novel, David Lodge ushers in a congregation of characters whose hopes, confusions and foibles play out alongside the celluloid fantasies of the silver screen.
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