From John Betjeman to Zadie Smith, the creator of The Wimbledon Poisoner picks the best depictions of characters on the outskirts of lifeMy new novel is set in suburbia but it is not – exactly – about suburbia; it is about some of the people who live in it.I suppose that is the main thing that has dictated my choice of the 10 best books (impossible task) about people who live in places not unlike Putney, where my new book is set. All these books are about utterly suburban individuals – people bound up in and absorbed by Clapham, Palmers Green or, indeed, Putney. All these books take them very seriously – especially when they are using them to provoke laughter.1. The Intellectuals and the Masses by John CareyThis superb book has as its theme the way in which high-toned thinkers responded to the newly-literate classes, enfranchised and educated by late Victorian legislation. They were the people who first occupied the suburbs – the housing put up around the new railway stations that allowed the humble to trundle into London, as they still do, to return to a house, a garden, a fireside. It is a vivid evocation – unsnobbish …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books