I am reading Jack Common’s 1951 novel, Kiddar’s Luck. My copy was published in 1975 in Newcastle by Frank Graham. The novel resides within a cartoon dust cover depicting street life, possibly in Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne. The cartoon characters resemble depictions of working class people from British films of the 1950’s rather than the pre-World War One characters Jack Common writes about. Kidder’s luck shares the space within this dust jacket with Jack Common’s other famous novel, ‘The Ampersand’. If there was any justice each novel would be separately bound within beautiful leather covers complete with gilt lettering. if there was any justice Kiddar's Luck would be known as a classic and BBC 4 would make endless documentaries about it. If there was any justice actors from the RSC would compete for roles in the numerous TV adaptations and art house films. But there isn't, and I am grateful to Frank Graham for publishing these overlooked, undervalued books at all. Kidder’s Luck is a work of poetry. It is a work of social history. It is a work of humour. It is a thing of beauty and I implore you to get your hand on this book, read it and spread the word.
*With apologies to Albert King, William Bell and Booker T. Jones, for singing and writing 'Born under a bad sign.'