Crime and thriller aficionados will be well aware that the city of Tangier has long proved one of the most fruitful of locales for atmospheric fiction, but — as Iain Finlayson’s immensely readable study of the city and its diverse visitors point out – Tangier itself deserves loving attention as more than just the backdrop for literary skulduggery. The exotic appeal of the city is celebrated here in elegantly written, pithy prose, and there is added value: the well-read author (who reviews for The Times) invokes the many celebrities (including a fair number with notably self-destructive tendencies) who hung their hats in the city, from Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs to Tennessee Williams and Joe Orton (the last two, of course, will remind readers of the city’s reputation as a gay sexual wonderland; tarnished today, but still remembered). As a celebration of a remarkable metropolis, Tangier: City of the Dream is both pungent and evocative.

Tangier: City of the Dream by Iain Finlayson is published by Tauris Parke


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