Thursday, March 13, 2008

I was determined to stay well out of the chain letter book meme thing currently infesting bloggery, but when a man as nice and good as Matthew Rudd asks one to step up to the plate, only a real churl could refuse. The idea is to turn to page 123 of the book you're currently reading, count down three sentences, then reproduce the next five sentences. Five-Centres has made the whole thing more interesting by making people guess the book, so I'll follow his template. Interestingly, I don't think I'd guess this book from the following lines, but there are other passages elsewhere that would identify the author and title straight away:

"Faithful Unto Death was in the assembly room, and I frequently had a chance to examine it. At nine on the dot, while we all stood in makeshift rows under the supervision of one of the mistresses, Miss Yates would make her entrance. 'Good morning, everybody,' she would say briskly, and we in our piping and ragged trebles, but with all the enthusiasm which children experience in fulfilling a ritual, would answer her in unison: 'Good morning, Miss Yates.' What then took place was some form of non-denominational prayers, for several of the pupils were Jewish or Catholic, followed by a hymn, usually 'All things Bright and Beautiful' accompanied by Miss Gibbons or Miss Edwards at the upright piano.

It was seldom however that this daily scenario went through without a hitch."

If you want clues, it's from one of the four massively entertaining volumes of autobiography written by a cultural all-rounder who died recently.

I now nominate James Masterton, Adam Macqueen and Richard Lewis.


Matthew Rudd said...

George Melly?

LF Barfe said...

Spot on. It's the Penguin omnibus edition of Scouse Mouse/Rum Bum and Concertina/Owning Up. Such joyous, hilarious, honest books. This is my second reading of Scouse Mouse, and I've lost count of how many times I've read Owning Up. I must look out for a copy of Don't Tell Sybil.