I received a letter from a long-time Spectator
reader, James Hackett, enquiring about books I am reading. It is not often that I get letters that delight me, as this one did. It is a far cry from the readers’ letters you see in newspapers and magazines in the United States. Lots of them seem sanctimonious, holier than thou; others, I suspect, are written by the glossy magazines themselves promoting their own celebrity culture worship.
James Hackett is an American gent whom I’ve never met, and I hope I don’t disappoint with my choices. The last time I read novels was literally some 50 years ago. I stopped reading them after I’d made my way through the Russians, all of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, O’Hara, Shaw, Jones, Mailer, Maugham, Greene, Orwell and Waugh, among others of the period.