Albert Angelo

B S Johnson

14 February 2013
192 pages


With an introduction by the writer Toby Litt.

The eponymous Albert is an architect by training but a supply teacher out of necessity. Feeling that he is failing at both, and haunted by a failed love affair, he begins to question what he wants to achieve. Using a number of original narrative techniques Johnson attempts to reproduce life (and its travails) as closely as possible through fiction, while at the same time revelling in the impossibility of such a task.

A passionate advocate for the avant-garde, B S Johnson said of the acerbically comic and exuberant Albert Angelo that it was where he 'really discovered what he should be doing'. And on page 163 of this extraordinary book is one of the most surprising lines in English fiction. But you should start at the beginning.

A most gifted writer
The future of the novel depends on people like B. S. Johnson
Albert Angelo has moments of comedy as good as anything produced in the past fifty years