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The Time of My Life Paperback – 25 May 2006
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|Paperback, 25 May 2006||
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About the Author
Dennis Healey was a leading politician and held the major cabinet posts of Defence Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer. He is the author of Healey's Eye, a charming record of his photographic career, My Secret Planet, a linked anthology of his favourite books and poems and When Shrimps Learn to Whistle, a collection of his writings and speeches. In 1945 he married Edna, a distinguished writer in her own right.
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For one thing, the writing is dull. Clear, yes, but passionless. The wit is laboured. It is monotonous, one thing after another.
For another, DH never, or rarely, expands on the human minutiae of his experiences. The book lacks life.
For another, it is packed, jam-packed, with the names of people he met, people of whom I have never heard and whose contribution to history is minimal.
For another, I found the liberal quoting of poetry sat I'll at ease with his own very prosaic style.
For another, I wondered where the 'ordinary' people were, his constituents, those on whose behalf he worked.
And finally, there is an overall air of complacency. Lord Healey seems at pains to tell us that no matter about the defects of his colleagues, he was always right.
Of course there were elements I enjoyed. In particular his trenchant views on Tony Benn are to be relished, all the more in view of lavish praise that followed the latter's recent death.
Lord Healey has had a long life as a dedicated public servant. His autobiography does not do him justice.
PS I must mention two editorial howlers, both in photo captions. 'Grammar' is spelt 'grammer' and Claudio Abbado is feminised to Claudia!
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