‘I only see radiators these days’, announces one of the characters in this novel — ‘You know, people who give out heat and warmth.’ A radiator is a pretty good description of India Knight’s Comfort and Joy (Fig Tree/ Penguin, £14.99), too: a book so kindly and funny and affectionate that you could probably warm your hands on it.
Flesh. Lots of flesh. That was the simple promise of a Hammer horror film. In this collection of classic Hammer…
This is an odd book: the exhaustive biography of a complete nobody. Vivian Mackerrell was the primary inspiration for the cult that is Withnail. In that, at least, he doesn’t disappoint.
Criticising Dawn French feels like kicking a puppy. She’s so winning that the nation was even tempted to let The Vicar of Dibley slide.
On the evidence of Rachel Johnson’s latest book (Penguin/ Fig Tree, £16.99), Julia Budworth, the owner of The Lady, was wrong in her recent accusation that the magazine’s editor is obsessed with penises. Johnson is far too busy talking about testicles. She tells her immediate boss (Mrs Budworth’s son Ben) to ‘grow a pair of balls’. She admits later that he has ‘cojones you can see from space’. She calls one article ‘cobblers’.
The three knights of British cinema have taken disparate routes in their twilight years. Roger Moore jettisoned a hokum career for more worthwhile pursuits as a Unicef ambassador, while Sean Connery settled into his Bahamian golf-resort to champion Scotland’s independence. Michael Caine, however, has added a further veneer to a great body of work.
Never eat at restaurants where they picture the food on the menu. Steer clear of books which explain the characters in a glossary. If you have to give your customers an idea in advance of what to expect, then it follows that your cooking/narrative may not be up to scratch.