Are You Talking to Me?
is a deliciously thoughtful piece of autobiography. Where, in The Falling Angels
, journalist and critic John Walsh talked about how his life has been affected by his Irish parents' melancholy Catholicism, here he talks about how movies gave his adolescent and young adult self a vocabulary with which to create an adult identity of his own.
The Sound Of Music, for example, not usually high on any cineaste's list, taught Walsh a sense of sexual strategy; Cabaret was for him, as for so many of his generation, a touchstone of flirtation with decadence and sexual variety. In perhaps the most serious of these essays, he talks about how Nicholas Roeg's Don't Look Now gave him a sense of the impossibility of knowing one's own fate, a sense of the infinite precariousness of life, which has served him well as husband and father.
This is a likable piece of self-revelation because Walsh has forgotten no embarrassment of his past and has a real sense of how every gaffe or misstep helped put him on the path to adulthood, along with every enthusiasm for film and music and book. His honesty about himself makes him a reliable commentator on the films that helped him become that person.--Roz Kaveney
Praise for Falling Angels:
‘A book to be relished’ – William Trevor
‘The reader should be warned that this is a book that makes you laugh out loud in public. A magnificent entertainment.’ The Independent
‘A warm, seamlessly well-written memoir… the prose is fluent, its craftmanship meticulous. The dialogue is dead-on: the hungry father could “eat a reverend mother’s arse through a cane chair”… Walsh’s affection for his subject matter is infectious.’ Lionel Shriver, Guardian