Nigel Richardson’s premise for Breakfast in Brighton is simple: the town (for it was a town at time of writing) is not so much a place but rather a state of mind. And that notion underpins this whimsical work of reportage, adventuring, wild goose chases and dreamlike, probably imagined vignettes.
The book follows the summer he spends down by the sea in (probably) almost in Hove actually in digs presided over by an eccentric landlady and a cast of theatrical characters passing through.
He scrapes at Brighton’s seedy underbelly and tells us about the people he meets and the stories they tell, the improbable situations he gets into and the pubs he visits as he spends time with “the lost fucking tribe.”
Now 20 years on from publication, Breakfast in Brighton captures a moment in time when Brighton was the place to be. A Brighton now that is, to some extent, disappearing with the rising tide of gentrification.