- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Fourth Estate (8 May 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 185702849X
- ISBN-13: 978-1857028492
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.5 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
An Encyclopaedia of Myself Hardcover – 8 May 2014
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More About the Author
‘Meades [is] an original in the best sense of combining deep knowledge and keen observation with a genuinely individual viewpoint … The richness of vocabulary is as pleasurable as his honesty is bald … The era is wonderfully reconstructed, the words so impastoed that everywhere you can feel the grain of times … By far the best picture of the 1950s I have read’ George Walden, The Times
‘If this book is thought of less as a memoir than as a symphonic poem about postwar England and Englishness – well, then it is a masterpiece … Meades is a sort of apocalyptic John Betjeman, and the descriptions here rank with the late poet laureate’s eye for detail and nose for nostalgia’ Roger Lewis, Financial Times
‘A vivid and sometimes haunting portrait of a lost England … Seldom has the suffocating sense of self-absorption of the siblingless, of loneliness and boredom and of precocity, imagination and alienation, been more powerfully illustrated … Every page bristles with informed analysis and cogent argument’ Andrew Anthony, Observer
‘A dazzling confection of grown-up sophistication and schoolboy intensity of feeling. Meades may be pushing 70 years old, but like a more literate William Brown or an angrier Nigel Molesworth, he is still energetically kicking at everything that comes his way’ Jane Shilling, Daily Telegraph
‘A brilliant stylist; he seldom writes a boring sentence’ Lynn Barber, Sunday Times
‘This book is a riot … [Meades] writes with such force and originality … Meades is already a cult. This book will make him more so. It is a true literary achievement, and one's only regret is that a sequel is not already at hand to be read straight away’ Simon Heffer, Literary Review
‘[Meades] vividly conjures a vanished world … I loved this book. Meades is a very great prose stylist, with a dandy’s delight in the sound and feel of words, and we are lucky to have him’ Ian Thomson, The Spectator
About the Author
Jonathan Meades’s most recent book ‘Museum Without Walls’ was selected as a book of the year by seven critics. He has since published a box of photos in postcard form, ‘Pidgin Snaps’. His new films ‘Concrete Poetry’ are in praise of brutalist architecture and will be transmitted on BBC4 in March 2014.
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Top Customer Reviews
For those who don't know Meades, don't start here. Perhaps try short story collection Filthy English first, else his 'sleaze epic' novel Pompey. Like those as much as I do and you'll be back.
although it still has the ascerbic wit and clarity Jonathan Meades is renowned for, its warmth and appreciation of a lost world shines through.
I will re-read this many times and want to buy a hard back copy to keep on my bookshelves.
It helps to read it in the voice of Mr Meades. Those who have seen his television programmes will be familiar with the unique delivery although occasionally the text fell into Alan Bennett mode.
The pains and complexities of a child growing up in an adult world, and eventually becoming an adult, are described with great detail and provide a unique viewpoint on that era.
I was pleased to read that the pathway of Mr Meades life had crossed that of Mr Ian Nairn as they have similar outlooks on society and they way that buildings and infrastructure can affect the lives of those that live in them.
An enjoyable book.
Self contained snapshot chapters in encyclopaedic order..a memory chalet in English Brown. Think of your own 10 year long conscious childhood and it's fragments; soap smells, grass and sunshine. Snow and cold fingers. Music box tinkles and cartoon near deaths. Cough medicine and the thrill of sugar. It's that first bee sting or a nervous tummy on a new day of term. Eavesdropped adult conversations about Things That Don't Concern You.
It's a series of dream moments. The past won't sit still for moment. All these things make a life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mr Meades weaves such a wonderful picture in this book. Each chapter a joy to behold, and written without ego. If you like how he speaks on television, you will love this bookPublished 1 month ago by zingabob
I gave up on this, finding Meades's tone overbearing (and dismissive of much that I value, but that's by the by).
He's much better on television.
A very enjoyable read. As with all of Jonathan's work it helps to have a dictionary at hand but difficult things tend ultimately to be the most rewarding. Read morePublished 7 months ago by steves
It's just what you'd expect from this writer - original, intriguing - a great read.Published 10 months ago by keith