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The London Lover: My Weekend that Lasted Thirty Years by Clancy Sigal

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‘An exuberant, breathless sprint through London in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies… It’s bright, boisterous and extremely funny’ Tatler

If Fielding’s Tom Jones were alive in postwar England he might be Clancy Sigal, the American author of this restlessly curious memoir. Honest and devious, faithful and lustful, a mass of plucky contradictions, Clancy first arrived in London in 1957. He was broke, homeless and, according to his FBI file, a dangerous ‘subversive’. Over the next three decades, Clancy was to wander the soot-stained streets of London, devouring as much as life could offer him.

From the birth of the CND and his affair with Lessing, to therapy with R. D. Laing and wondering whether the entire world was on acid, Clancy details it all to illuminating effect. Underneath all of these encounters is the character of Clancy himself: funny, hapless, warm-hearted and a self-professed ‘crazy American’. Call it luck, charm or sheer lack of good sense, he escaped with a cracking good story.