Our politics is such a shallow game that any senior British politician who has read a book is apt to be considered cerebral, and if he has read two, feted as an original thinker.
Books about marriage, like the battered old institution itself, come in and out of fashion with writers, readers and politicians, but never quite die away.
Ahundred years ago, a character in a novel who was keen on music would, like E.M. Forster’s Lucy Honeychurch or Leo- nard Bast, be as apt to stumble through a piece at the piano as listen to it at a concert.
Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter, by Antonia Fraser
First, I must declare an interest.
Notwithstanding’s suite of inter- linked stories draws on Louis de Bernière’s memories of the Surrey village (somewhere near Godalming, you infer) where he lived as a boy.
Not every writer would begin a history of the 1950s with a vignette in which the young Keith Waterhouse treads on Princess Margaret by mistake.
Set in the future, The Year of the Flood tells the story of the build-up to and aftermath of a pandemic known as the Waterless Flood, which all but eradicates the human race.