John Braine: Room at the Top

(2888 words)

Room at the Top (1957), the first published novel by John Braine (1922-86), made an instant and strong impact. Braine was classified with the “Angry Young Men” (who were not wholly a media invention), and Room, although set in 1946, seemed to speak to the mood of Britain in the later 1950s, to a society throwing off deference and austerity and reaching out to new experiences. But in Room these new experiences were not primarily sexual or quasi-mystical, in the manner of the Beat Generation or the existentialists; Braine’s protagonist, Joe Lampton, was no dropout; he unashamedly wanted in, into money and material possessions and social acceptance. In key respects, he was a harbinger of the Yuppies, the brash …

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Tredell, Nicolas. "Room at the Top". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 December 2013
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Angry Young Men