When Philip Callow's Common People was first published in 1958, reviewer John Betjeman described it as "a genuine cry from a class usually silent in the literary world" and hailed it as one of the best books of the year. The story of a young working-class man from the Midlands who dreams of escaping to an exciting life in London but is torn between his desire for an artistic career and his need to be married and "know common joys", Callow's novel was widely praised for its originality and authenticity.
This first-ever reissue, featuring an introduction by Ben Clarke, will allow a new generation of readers to discover a work that deserves a place alongside its more famous contemporaries like John Braine's Room at the Top and Alan Sillitoe's Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.
"The most brilliantly successful account of English working-class life I have ever encountered in any medium." – Penelope Mortimer, Sunday Times
"It is alive, the direct stuff of life, so direct it scarcely has the form of fiction, so present it is painful, so truthful it is cleansing, salutary and exhilarating." – Isabel Quigly, Encounter
"Done beautifully, with fine economy." – J. B. Priestley