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The Plot

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz is more than a page-turning who done it. The author who wrote The Undoing, which was dramatised on television with Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman in the leading roles, lampoons the writers world of creative writing, publishing and best sellers. The central character [...]

September 2, 2021 // 0 Comments

Lord Dismiss Us

It’s an interesting discussion which actually took place on Radio 4’s A Good Read on reaction to re-reading an old favourite. With this in mind, I recently read for the third time Lord Dismiss Us by Michael Campbell. The novel, which I suspect is strongly biographical, is set in [...]

August 26, 2021 // 0 Comments


The last episode in this excellent series featured Andalusia and writings thereon. Throughout Richard E Grant has been a superb presenter: enthusiastic, well-informed and – above all – he does not get in between the viewer and the subject. Blessed with a beautiful voice his readings [...]

August 18, 2021 // 0 Comments


Inspired by the excellent Ken Burns documentary of Ernest Hemingway I decided to read one of his works. For Whom the Bell tolls I read at school and found it heavy going. Farewell to Arms I knew the story from the film. I’m not a reader of short stories so I plumped for the audio version of The [...]

July 30, 2021 // 0 Comments

Cricketing Lives/Richard H. Thomas

This is less a compendium of the lives of colourful cricketers than a broad sweep of cricketing history to the present day. Charlie Blythe It’s well informed, witty and entertaining but did not tell me much I did not already know. It’s particularly interesting on Victorian cricket, an era [...]

July 20, 2021 // 0 Comments

Recent fiction: Barcelona Dreaming & Widowland

Both the above two books – written by Rupert Thomson and C.L. Carey – were favourably reviewed but I had not heard of either author. Barcelona Dreaming is three interlocking short stories set in modern Barcelona. In the first Amy, who has a curio shop, meets a young Moroccan outside [...]

July 14, 2021 // 0 Comments

A Good Read

An interesting issue was raised in this week’s Good Read on Radio 4 presented by Harriet Gilbert – namely, you can enjoy a book at one period of your life but not in another. She gave as her example The Franchise Affaire by Josephine Tey. I read a lot of Christopher Isherwood as a kid [...]

July 8, 2021 // 0 Comments

Napoleon’s Plunder and the Theft of Veronese’s Feast/Cynthia Salzman

This is an account by Cynthia Salzman of the appropriation of Paolo Veronese’s Wedding Feat of Cana in 1796 by Napoleon. The painting hung on the refectory wall of the Santa Maggiore church in Venice commissioned by the Benedictine Order. Napoleon , just 26, had conquered most of the Italian [...]

July 2, 2021 // 0 Comments

Hemingway/BBC 4

A new Ken Burns documentary is worth waiting for though not worth missing England v Germany as it clashed. You know that the production values will be high and he will lay out the facts in a non-judgemental way. By contrast the Channel 4 type of documentary, normally on the royals, will be more of [...]

July 1, 2021 // 0 Comments

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