The Bookman's Tale Hardcover – 30 Jun 2009
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Talking of bats, there is a lovely passage in this book in which the author wakes up to find a bat lying next to him. The bat is alive but doesn't respond to questioning, so Blythe carries him out to the shed, to "leave him to his bat thoughts". This is a collection of the author's columns from Church Times: a kind of rural journal of evensongs, visits from friends, books read and remembered (Auden, RS Thomas), the changing light through his windows, and the watchful moods of his white cat. There are excursions to Aldeburgh or Little Gidding, and visits from chirpy young engineers who rewire his house or find a spider gumming up the central heating. Such material could have made for an appallingly fey read, but Blythe's extraordinary attention to the world around him, and the modest exactness of his thinking, make him seem curiously apt to keep the company of those old Greeks up above. The writing throughout is exquisite ("rain-smirched light looking for the altar" in church; the "nice drudgery" of proofreading a book; a painter's "easel folded up in the car like a sleeping insect"), and a serenely humane humour is never far away: "How does one listen to the radio without hearing all this news? It is a problem." My only disappointment (and a vanishingly rare one in this job) was that the book was so short. --Steven Poole,The Guardian
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Top Customer Reviews
Each essay gives a glimpse of the author's life and activities and leaves the reader with a feeling of peace and tranquillity. There are ideas for reading both poetry and prose and vignettes of poets, playwrights and artists met and entertained. I found it enjoyable and relaxing to read and it is an ideal book to dip into at the end of the day.
A slight book, but as all Ronald Blythe's books, very readable. Somehow his enviable character always shines through. Buy it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Blythe provides us as usual with evocative prose in concise form. This volume has references to Vikram Seth whose book The Rivered Earth I had just read.Published on 24 Dec. 2013 by glynroyd
Having met the delightful Ronnie Blythe several times at St Michael's Church, Discoed, near Presteigne, I found these snippets fascinating!Published on 27 April 2013 by Mike Evans
This nicely written book is really only for devoted worshippers in the Anglican Church, or devoted admirers of the author. Read morePublished on 11 Jun. 2010 by Jeff Walmsley