These brilliant sketches show that, even to the surprise of ‘the Saint’ author Leslie Charteris, Jean Cocteau was a fully paid-up fan of Simon Templar. … More Jean Cocteau and the Saint
One year on, this is my diary account of the most extraordinary day. … More A year ago today: an extract from ‘Nothing Has Changed’
My first book is an account of the extraordinary 2017 General Election as seen by me. It was an election like no other and I hope I’ve given some sense of the excitement, energy and sometimes downright bafflement involved in covering it. You can buy ‘Nothing Has Changed’ directly from the Parthian books website here. Here’s … More Nothing Has Changed
Easily one of the strangest books I’ve ever read, this is the second volume of memoirs by the Cornish poet Jack Clemo. I’d read both his novels years ago and some of his verse, but this was new to me. So much is strange about it: the way he reviews his own poetry, his unique brand … More Jack Clemo, ‘The Marriage of a Rebel’
Virginia Woolf’s passport. A postcard from the Literary Passports set from Galley Beggar Press.
One of many by Paul Cox for this volume.
Far from another exercise in eighties nostalgia, this book is a fascinating closer examination of a couple of years that apparently changed Britain forever. It’s fair to say that Beckett is uncertain about the value of this change although he’s open-minded enough to acknowledge the many benefits it brought as well as recognising the human … More Andy Beckett, ‘Promised You a Miracle’
If you’ve read any Salman Rushdie previously, you’ll know what you’re letting yourself in for: a tumble of stories, ideas, jokes, allegories and references to books, films, politics, music, art, comic books and contradictory opinions. He specialises in having his cake and eating it and this book is high on the cake-having and eating. And like … More Salman Rushdie ‘Two Years Eight Months & Twenty-Eight Nights’ re-read
I don’t know what to make of this yet. Obviously, I’m already a fan so I already enjoy all the Rushdie traits: linguistic japery, strangeness, pop-culture mingling with high-culture, the dizzying tumble of stories and ideas. I haven’t been able to get a handle on it properly in my first reading but I have a feeling … More Salman Rushdie, ‘Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-eight Nights’
Spike Milligan was undoubtedly a troubled, conflicted soul and it’s clear that some of his humour hasn’t worn well. But the deceptively simple and silly jokes and pictures he filled up books are a childhood joy that I’ve never lost. I can’t believe I’d have understood the Judith Hart poem above but would have laughed … More Spike Milligan pictures and poems