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Kingsley Amis, John Osborne, John Braine, Colin Wilson, John Wain – five names instantly redolent of the 1950s and the Angry Young Men phenomenon. However, as Humphrey Carpenter explores with relish, the suggestion that these and other writers, tagged in the same way, formed a homogeneous cadre of rebellion is false and is much more the product of media myth-making than anything else. Indeed, the Angry Young Men could hardly have been a more diverse group, sundered by ability, achievement, beliefs and outlook.
This was the sort of book Humphrey Carpenter excelled at, with The Inklings, Secret Gardens, Geniuses Together, The Brideshead Generation and The Angry Young Men almost making the category of group literary biography his own. This was his last in the idiom and probably the funniest.
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