Reading - March 2022

Play All by Clive James (2016)
Clive James first came to my, and the world's attention (albeit at different times) through his TV criticism and I'm sure it would have been deliberate that a return to it was one of his last published works (the book is full of references to his own mortality). He made his mark in the field with a unique style that was a masterpiece in wit and brevity, made necessary by a weekly word limit. Here he has much more space to work with, which seems appropriate when writing about big box sets like Game Of Thrones, The West Wing and The Sopranos. His argument is that the additional time afforded by such expansive TV dramas allows them to explore life more fully. Presumably he feels that the space in a book to discuss them allows him to do them more justice. Unfortunately I'm inclined to feel that neither is well served by removing restrictions. I don't get the appeal of such long series and allowing a mind as fine as James' more space just results in more bewildering tangents than usual. Beautiful writing as always, but possibly not as well-targeted as I would hope for.
Boiling A Frog by Christopher Brookmyre (2000)
Pointed, darkly satirical and great fun.
Love Lives by Josie Lloyd & Emlyn Rees (2003)
Nice bedtime reading.
Thank You For The Days by Mark Radcliffe (2009)
I'm in the middle of about four different books that are interesting, but heavy going and not bedtime reading. So this came off the shelf again. I didn't realise I read it less than two years ago, which tells you something about how memorable it is, or possibly about how poor my memory is. Anyway, easy reading, gently amusing and a little reminder of how great Mark and Lard were together - their stint on the Radio 1 breakfast show definitely doesn't feel like 25 years ago! Oh dear, I'm getting old.

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