14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
A tremendous read and re-read...., 6 Sep 2004
Alan Clark's diary is a book that the reader can read and re-read, find favourite passages time and time again and then quite unexpectedly discover new entries that will become the new favourite passages.
The book follows Clark through his time as a Junior Minister and his successes, failures and plotting in his various posts, his endless trips abroad and wasted afternoons in pointless and tedious meetings and visits to his constituency. He longs to have higher office but probably knows that cerrtain 'indiscretions' and his often radical views will rule him out of this. Clark's views are wide-ranging and radical and strong views are expressed ranging from animals to the 'lower classes'. He also expresses admiration for unlikely opponents such as Dennis Skinner MP and cries when he is forced to shoot a heron. This is what makes him such a fascinating individual. He is not predictable and the reader does not know what to expect next.
The reader also sees Clark and his rich and varied private life - at points it seems he exists to only spot pretty girls in the crowd. What does come through, however, is his love for his wife, although, as he himself says, he often treats her badly, and his love of his trips to Zermatt and Scotland. This is a man who is privileged and has lived well.
The other editions of the diaires are also well worth reading and I defy anyone not to be moved to tears at the end of the final volume.
In conclusion many readers may find Clark unlikeable but they must ask themsleves what would the public reaction be to the publication of their own diaires?? Read this book, enjoy it and take it with a pinch of salt and hope that more individualistic politicians such as Clark will enter public life.