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The Year of the Jouncer CD-ROM – Audiobook, Unabridged
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* 'Gray's digressions are as brilliant as they are idiosnycratic. I hope that Gray is already jotting down his thoughts and insights for a forthcoming volume' Paul Bailey, Sunday Times * 'A trenchant, funny and surprisingly mellow book' Michael Arditti, Daily Mail * 'Gray is always sharp, clever, eminently readable ... laugh-out-loud digressions ... utterly hilarious' Ranjit Bolt, Observer * 'Gray is an absolute genius...the very best thing he has ever done' Daily Express * 'A great achievement, a terrific read, every page crammed with jokes, philosophical observations and miniature portraits of Grays' family and friends' Spectator --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Simon Gray reads the second volume of his much-praised The Smoking Diaries, full of wit and worry and as irresistible as ever.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
I really enjoyed getting to know SG in the first volume, and the familiarity I have with him now made this even more enjoyable. He writes more about theatre in this volume, and he examines his own behaviour a lot more, too.
There's a real sense of being there with him as he writes - at one point he's describing what's actually happening as he's writing (a couple looking at him) as he writes it, not watching the pen on paper, which was so vividly 'in the moment' that it almost seemed like some kind of hallucination. Almost ;)
He's impeccably honest, and the writing style is something to savour - he's spent so many years writing that he writes effortless sentences that read like trains of thought - fascinating and funny - that just flow. There's a natural ease of expression that gets you happily going along with it all. I smiled all the way through.
Recommended for those who don't like autobiographies - I don't, but I loved this; it's an easy, entertaining read that was over far too quickly. Great for the beach - if you're off to Barbados it might be worth taking, as SG spent his holidays there, and quite a few of his entries are written there. Time for me to buy the third volume, I think...
He admitted in this book that he bore hatred for certain people, amongst them, no doubt, Stephen Fry, who fled a theatrical production by him after Fry received what he felt were less than good reviews. Grey tells the bare minimum about this incident in this book and mentions no names.
He wintered in Barbados with his wife, Victoria Rothschild, for a few years and obviously lived a life considerably removed from the middle classes who provided many of the main characters of his plays. His writing always seemed effortless, and enviably relaxed, yet it sparkled with touches of wit. It's not the sort of writing that courts laughter, more a sense of amusement and often puzzlement at his life. His writing sometimes loses track, meanders on, but one never minds because he has a superb sense of the variousness and unexpected confoundedness of experience. Superbly talented he wrote over twenty plays, many of them great successes. He died of pneumonia in 2008.
The Smoking Diaries are a fitting (and accomplished) final contribution from this very interesting and complicated man. That Simon Gray was able to record them on CD is all the more exciting because you may now hear Simon Gray eternally. (A good thing I assure you!) Would that so many others had the opportunity to do the same!
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