3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Well, what a thing this is!,
This review is from: Something Sensational to Read in the Train (Hardcover)Like me you probably know Gyles Brandreth but are not quite sure where from. You know you've seen him on HIGNFY, you seem to remember he was an MP at some point but quite why does everyone know him, what is he famours for?
This book answers all that, it's incredible how many pies Gyles has had his fingers in. From The stage, producing, directing, starring, to TV, to publishing, to journalism, charity worker and friend of the elite. And this is all without mentioning the jumpers, the horrible, horrible jumpers. (of which there is a photo section included in the book which some of the famous models would probably rather forget)
Gyles has done all the above and more, yet at the same time the promise he showed as scholar and president of the Oxford union was never really fulfilled in the sense some thought it might be. Gyles touches on this in the book too and the question is open, is this failure or a gleeful embracing of everything life has to offer?
There are some sharp comparisons in these diaries. One one hand is a man who must be admired for simply sucking every last drop of fun out of life and going, going, going when others may mock or try to put obstacles in his way. To live as you want and at 150mph is something we should all aspire to and damn anyone who tells you it's wrong or not serious enough.
On the other hand, this is an arch conservative, one of the old guard who believes the ruling class hsould be made out of Garrick members, the rich, the Oxbridge educated and sees nothing reprehensible in the likes of Aitken, Hamilton and Archer.
But oh the footnotes, soooo many footnotes....it takes twice as long as usual to read any page becausew you are checking all the references. I didn't need quite as much clarifying in line as this. Yes, tell me a name mantioned is an MP. No, don't give me birth (and death) years, constituencies and and years served with any ministerial posts held. This book is big enough as it is
We read to be challenged I suppose, and if I ignore the political views this is a rollicking good read. Fun, cheerful, serious, indiscreet, luvvie beyond belief and 100% the guy you see on the TV. It's good to know the public persona is very much the private one too.