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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 25 May 2012
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This review is from: A Late Education: Episodes in a Life (Hardcover)
'Who will ever forget his first sight of a prewar French railway terminus at the rush hour?' Well, we have never seen it (or we only have a dim idea from old French movies) but Alan Moorehead helps us imagine it. And did you know the Paris of 1938 had 150 newspapers? Moorehead read them all daily - and he was only working for The Express!

This little gem has had a complicated history, processing waif-like between four different publishers (the last Granta, who don't usually do reeditions). It's a memoir, it's short yet cunningly structured, and the contrast with John Lucas's Next Year Will Be Better is instructive. Moorehead hails from a similar stratum ('We were the genteel poor and in a country with so few inhabitants [Australia] that was almost the worst sort of poor to be; we could never hide') but while his account of, roughly, the Forties reverberates with passion and poetry (on his first sight of England he talks of Plymouth's 'complacent chimneypots') the poet Lucas's evocation of the Fifties is comically pedestrian and at least twice the length. Heigh ho - maybe Slightly Foxed will pick up on this for their series (next up #18 Elspeth Huxley's sublime Flame Trees of Thika) and give it one last tilt at glory. But beware - once you've read it you'll be hungry for everything else he's written. In immediacy it rivals Koestler's Scum of the Earth - than which there can be no higher praise

August 2013 Well, waddaya know? They have!! Right after Thika too - and what's more Amazon have tied it in with the edition I reviewed, so I shan't need to do it twice.. tho the Amazon record and price look dicky to me; contact the publisher
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A Late Education: Episodes in a Life
A Late Education: Episodes in a Life by Alan Moorehead (Hardcover - 12 Nov 1970)
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