Lewis Jones

Spectator books of the year: Lewis Jones on Ian McEwan and narrow boats

Music Night at the Apollo: A Memoir of Drifting (Bloomsbury, £14.99) describes the year Lilian Pizzichini spent with her cats on the Adam Bonny, a narrowboat moored on the Grand Union Canal amid the factories and sink estates of Southall. The boat stays moored but, on a tide of cider and cheap vodka, and fuelled by skunk, cocaine and heroin, Pizzichini takes a wild and perilous voyage, encountering not only the local Punjabi and Somalian lowlife but also her own ‘white underclass ancestors’.

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