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Not as good as the books ...
on 8 September 2003
I was amazed by this book but for all the wrong reasons.
David Nobbs is, in my opinion, one of the finest comic novelist this country has ever produced. Actually strike that - he's one of the finest novelists, full-stop. I urge everyone to read him.
But in writing about himself he seems to have come up short.
Unlike his fictional creations which seem to pull themselves up from the page the real people of his autobiography remain stubbornly 2-dimensional. Only in his honest appraisal of the end of his first marriage and the 'courtship' of his second wife did I really feel that I was seeing the real man. The discussion of the breakdown of his friendship with Peter Tinniswood was particularly thin. There must have been so much behind this story but Mr Nobbs was not prepared to tell us about it. Which is fair enough but not if you're going to write a book about it and charge people for the privelege of reading it.
Please, please read David Nobbs but don't start with this - it's just not as good as the books.