Jack Hilton

Caliban Shrieks

Caliban Shrieks



From a childhood of poverty, yet joy and freedom, to the punishing grind of factory life and the idiocy of being sent blindly into war, Caliban Shrieks’ narrator takes readers on a lyrical tour of life as a young man born into the first days of the 20th century.

Turned out of the army a vagrant - seeing England from city to city, county to county - before being thrust back into an uncertain cycle of working life as it unfolds in the post-war years, Caliban Shrieks was Jack Hilton’s invitation to enter the whirlwind of an existence rarely seen in the literature of his day. A novel of men and women lost, wandering – and angrily dreaming of a better, fairer England, Hilton’s autobiographical novel is a bold modernist retelling of the myth of how we find ourselves disenfranchised from the world and sold into a slavery of our making.

Lost to time, only to be rediscovered again in the Salford's Working Class Movement Library in 2022, Caliban Shrieks is a working-class masterpiece of British literature, and continues to speak as brash and impassioned as it did on its first rave publication in 1935.