- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Bodley Head; First edition edition (5 Aug. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1847921310
- ISBN-13: 978-1847921314
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.1 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 659,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Scribble, Scribble, Scribble: Writing on Ice Cream, Obama, Churchill and My Mother Hardcover – 5 Aug 2010
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"A succinct stylist, Schama is a master of metaphor, the apt, adjectival phrase, rhetoric and irony, even Joycean parody...This sparkling, effervescent collection bridges the gap between scholarly and popular writing...It is excellent holiday reading: dip into this between the sea and the bar and you will find a subtle and amusing companion." (Richard Ormrod The Spectator)
"An enticing collection of pieces old and new, a bedside book of rich insights." (Peter Preston The Observer)
"It really is very good...witty, learned, informative and clarifying." (Nicholas Lezard Evening Standard)
"His eloquence is on magnificent display in this new book: a delightful collection of journalistic essays...The length of his book, overflowing with purple prose (though very rarely at the cost of substance), demonstrates that, often, Schama does not know when to stop. But in this case, maybe that is not such a bad thing" (James Grant Independent on Sunday)
"Wilfully miscellaneous...addictively readable... [Schama] is clever, versatile and extremely likeable" (Financial Times)
The world, in all its diversity, seen through the eyes of one of its most original inhabitants - Simon Schama.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Pity the binding of this paperback edition is not up to its content: cover cracks when reaching the first quarter of the book, page layout is too close for comfort to the binding, and other such niceties.
The more serious topics included remembrance of 9/11 a year on, and Omaha Beach from which an example of his brilliant prose can be read: "So, when you are all losing your cornflakes on the unedifying news of the day, just hold that imperishable event close, honour the wrinkles that were once just twenty-year-olds trying to make it to the end of the beach and, while they were at it, made the world a better place."
The biographical scratches in this boook included Winston Churchill, Barack Obama, Isaiah Berlin, Charlotte Rampling, and Richard Avedon, of whom Schama began with a pertinent and charming line, "Was there ever such a pretty wart? There it sits beside the noble nose, the solitary imperfection in Richard Avedon's impossibly beautiful portrait head of Barack Obama".
Schama's obvious love of fine food is reflected in his essays on this subject - "What is the single, best word to describe the pleasure of a great bolognese sauce?" Well, that is what makes "Scribble, Scribble, Scribble" so mouth-watering.
Schama is above all a historian, so I shouldn't have been surprised to find his historical essays a little too scholarly for my short attention span. On the other hand, I enjoyed many of the pieces on movies and art. It was fun reading how director Martin Scorcese caught him off guard by citing Kind Hearts and Coronets as an inspiration for Goodfellas. Then Schama had to scramble to give himself a crash course in horror film history when Scorcese described his other inspirations over the years.
One thought-provoking essay was about Richard Avedon's photographs. Although the book includes some illustrations to go with the art essays, Schama talked about several photographs that weren't included. His descriptions were so vivid that I had to find the images online to see for myself. They really were fascinating, and now I have become an Avedon fan, thanks to Schama.
Schama mentioned a few times in his food essays that he used Julia Child's book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I just read a book of letters between Child and her friend and editor, Avis DeVoto (...Read more ›
He has a great depth of knowledge on a wide range of subjects - an enthusiastic polymath; coupled with his flair for language, his passionate nature and his willingness to share his ideas, the mixture is intoxicating. With topics like Travelling, Testing Democracy, Performing, Picturing and Cooking all written with the same passionate expertise and enthusiasm, and each with five or more essays in it, the range is obviously far-reaching. In one, he comments on the McCain election camp for its churlishness (78) when they were derogatory about Obama's oratory and returns to a familiar and similar subject later observing: "Obama can play heart and he can play head". A supporter of President Obama,he followed the election campaign with the historian's eye. If history and art are insufficient, the gourmet cook even provides recipes and advice for the kitchen. Watch out Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein - Schama's in the kitchen.
As adept an art critic and art historian as "ordinary historian", his essay on Turner makes fascinating reading ending with this comment on the sunrise/sunset in Turner's 1838 painting with the catchy title: "The Fighting Temeraire Tugged to her Last Berth to be Broken Up" - "That's the wonderful thing about being British: you can never really tell which is which".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Simon Schama loves language and it shows in a good way. Perfect reading for the end of the day: he takes my thoughts far away from quotidian cares. Read morePublished 7 months ago by JaguarJon53
Idiosyncratic, illuminating as to Schama's personality and interests. Very readable.Published 13 months ago by P. F. Hedge
The book is fine but the type too small for me so I have not been able to read muchPublished 14 months ago by francesca zeissl
He is a very erudite man and can make even the subject of ice cream fasinating.I also, perhaps mainly admire his knowledge on art.Published on 21 Nov. 2013 by Carole Jutelet
Professor Schama must embody the term polymath. He seems to know everything about everything, and writes in the most eloquent speech on any subject.Published on 3 Oct. 2013 by L M Simon
The purchase and delivery etc. were all excellent. When it comes to the actual book , and I do like Siomon Schama on the television , it was too intellectual I felt. Read morePublished on 25 July 2012 by william beeby
This will read somewhat oddly; I've bought this as a birthday gift for my husband, whose birthday isn't for some weeks yet, so I haven't had his opinions and therefore can't review... Read morePublished on 10 Aug. 2011 by Ms. Fiona Allen
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