At first sight you wouldn't think John Nott was that exciting. But his walking out of an interview with Robin Day spawned the title to this book, and at least it shows he has a pretty well developed sense of humour. Much of the book is not about politics. The first chapter is a history of the Nott family. Rather boring you might think, but au contraire. It turns out Nott's Great Great Grandfather was the Head of British Forces in Afghanistan in the 1840s. Nott gives a fascinating account of what went on in the first Afghan War. And the last chapter is all about Nott's love of shooting and fishing, and his farm in Cornwall. But perhaps the highlight of the book is the contribution from his Slovene wife Miloska. She writes various separate pieces, including a gripping account of her life under the Nazis and then the Communists in Slovenia. She also seems to have had the patience of a saint, having to put up with Nott's political and then City careers.
This is a well written and unusual memoir, which won't just appeal to political anoraks. But there's plenty there for them too. Nott's relations with Ted Heath and Margaret Thatcher are particularly entertaining. Suffice it to say he doesn't think much of Heath and although he is not uncritical of Thatcher, he recognises her as the dominating influence in latter 20th century politics.
I see this book received a brilliant review from Anthony Howard in the Sunday Times. It deserved it as it's one of the better political memoirs of recent years.
And well done to Politico's, the publishers, for seeing the potential of a book which I suspect others did not.