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When scribble becomes art,
This review is from: Scribble, Scribble, Scribble: Writing on Ice Cream, Obama, Churchill and My Mother (Hardcover)
Simon Schama writes history books that are so engaging and absorbing that anyone reading them cannot help thinking that history is fun. "Scribble, Scribble, Scribble" is a collection of Schama's miscellaneous writings. He onced worked as a journalist and had written for newspapers even in 2009 as some of the essays in this book indicate. The range of subjects covered are varied from an account of travelling on board the Queen Mary 2 luxury liner, to why Amricans are unloved in Europe. He wrote that Rudyard Kipling who was touring Yellowstone in 1889 "was bewildered by the patriotic hyperbole that seemed to come so naturally to the citizens of the United States." He moved on to talk warmly about great cities - Amsterdam and Washington DC.
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.