Britain, etc

I have been overruled. I wanted the Fitton Book Club’s next choice to be ‘Britain, etc: The Way We Live and How We Got There’ by the BBC’s Mark Easton. Polly Toynbee calls it a ‘charming and erudite portrait of modern Britain’. I believe there is even a chance that the author might have come to Fitton in person for a ‘book signing’ if we had asked. (He and I have been corresponding on Twitter. He sounds delightful.)

But one rather forceful member of our group (Eleanor Grantham) heard about a novel called ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ on Radio 4’s ‘A Good Read’ and managed to swing the vote her way. I have nothing against Spanish literature. But I feel that a novel set in Barcelona that begins with a visit to the Cemetery of Lost Books is unlikely to be very interesting.

Britain is, at the moment, utterly bewildering. It’s a country obsessed with petrol and pasties. Clearly we need enlightenment. Mark Easton’s book would have provided this.

I believe Mark Easton and I are probably soulmates. I imagine him, at this very moment, recommending chapter one of my handbook to a close circle of friends.


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