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a unique insider's account,
This review is from: I Could Be Anyone: Dyslexia friendly - Sans Serif Edition (Paperback)
Increasingly, Cambridge is being seen as a focal point for the origins of what would become culturally important in the `60s, musically, filmically, poetically and chemically. Whether the homeland of the decade's underground protagonists or a meeting ground for associated types, it stands out as having been a concentrated hub of foreward-thinking youth culture.
Although reasons for the socio-cultural shifts which were to take place there and in London are not easily summarised, reaction and rebellion came about in part against Cambridge's post-war academic stuffiness.
It was that atmosphere which suffocated Matthew Scurfield, whose dyslexia, like that of all other sufferers, was not recognised for a long time. Friends from a young age with a who's who of Beat Cambridge, Matthew was a member of a notable scene. Valuable for many reasons, I Could Be Anyone is perhaps most interesting for its inside view of figures who, in most accounts of the period, are just names, such as Matthew's half-brother Ponji, Dave Gale, Pip and Emo, to name only a few. Matthew's description of their beginnings alongside accomplices such as Syd Barrett makes for fascinating, new reading.
Matthew himself would go on to overcome his demons and enjoy great success as a film, TV and stage actor. Besides the `60s element, this book is of great relevance to those with an interest in the acting life, for those affected by dyslexia, and for those interested in yoga, a saving grace taught to Matthew by BKS Iyengar.
Many familiar names and places pass through I Could Be Anyone, from Pete Townshend to Tommy Cooper, the Anti-University to The Arts Lab. All are treated with intimate knowledge and with a thoughtful, humanist prose, which balances the facts of wider developments with a deeply personal, reflective approach.
This book has been well earnt by its author, and is a recommended read.