Thursday, September 11, 2008

I instruct all of you to go and buy the September issue of the Literary Review. Already the finest periodical for bibliomanes everywhere, it has, this month, chosen to improve its standing yet further by printing my review of Graham McCann's new Terry-Thomas biography Bounder and Mark Simpson's book about Alastair Sim.

4 comments:

mark_3220 said...

For someone who describes himself in his profile as an 'all-round arse', I undertook your instruction to buy the Literary Review with some trepidation. It was, after all, my book you were reviewing. However, can I just say a grateful thank you for your comments: I thought they were very encouraging and yet balanced. I especially appreciated the commendation in your review. Equally, I am aware my style is a 'little dry' at times, but also as you note, it was my authorial debut (although clearly you hadn't read my published report on Prisons!). I also share a fondness for the chapter on James Bridie. It was very interesting to research and yet seemed so distinctive of the good mannered behaviour between men of creativity in a bygone age. Maybe I'm just old fashioned.
All the best to you.
Mark Simpson

LF Barfe said...

My pleasure, Mark. As a fellow author, I believe we owe it to each other to review constructively. I hope the book does well, and that the History Press pay you on time.

Adam Macqueen said...

Terry-Thomas sued Private Eye in the early days, you know. Is it mentioned in the book at all? Had I better rush out and buy a copy? You terrible shower...

LF Barfe said...

Yes, the lawsuit is mentioned. Private Eye also crops up in John Fisher's excellent new biography of Tony Hancock. Early on, Willie Rushton did a vicious but oddly prescient 'Aesop Revisited' cartoon about a Hancock-alike, which caused the comedian great upset. Years later, the pair met in Australia and made up by having a convivial night talking about cricket. Hancock killed himself days later, and Rushton was asked to bring his new-found friend's ashes back to the UK. The fact that he was carrying Hancock's remains resulted in an automatic upgrade.