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With the poetic acuity that renders his work timeless, Booker Prize-winning author John Berger brings us a 24-hour chronicle of homelessness. Beside a highway, in a wasteland furnished with smashed trucks and broken washing machines, lives a vagrant community of once-hopeful individuals, now abandoned by the twentieth century.
King, our narrator, is the guardian of a homeless couple, stealing meat from the butcher and sharing the warmth of his flesh. His canine sensibility affords him both amnesty from human hardship and rare insight into his companions' lives. Through his senses we see--clearly and unsentimentally--the dignity and strength that can survive within chaos and pain.
"Much of John Berger's writing has been concerned with the destruction of village life and rituals by the mechanized urban monster. King takes up these themes, concentrating on those who have lost most in this brave new world: the street-dwellers. The narrator is King, a dog living with a disparate group of down-and-outs in the shadow of a motorway. . . . Berger suggests that the city, in its increasing decadence, may prove unwittingly to be the catalyst for human renewal. His ambition to explore his political and moral beliefs through fiction has never been more fully realized."
--Ian Critchley, Times Literary Supplement