Monday, 2 August 2010


As usual I read a great deal in the summer recess.

I have read 'The Third Man' by Peter Mandelson.

It is predictably well written. Its hero is prdicatbly vindicated on the major issues of the day. He is tough on Gordon Brown, who, whatever positive qualities he doubtless has, seems to have been a nightmare to work with and even worse to work for.

He is also clearly much more tribal than either Peter Mandelson or Tony Blair and so out of synch with the times. The tribal instinct seems to be what finally and fatally did it for Gordon and enabled Dave Cameron and Nick Clegg to make the groundbreaking Coalition agreement. A point not lost on the Baron Foy and Hartlepool.

From this tome of some 550 pages to an appropriate antidote in the shape of 'The Gropes' by Tom Sharpe. I am a massive fan of Tom Sharpe but in this volume he is not at his best, I feel. Certainly all the usual Hogarthian grotesques of characters are here as are many of the usual Sharpe ingredients:- explosives, bulldozers, violence, bandaged officialdom and Northumberland wilderness.

It is not as rib-huggingly, laugh-outloudishly funny as some of the classic Tom Sharpe's, particularly the Wilt series.

I have just finished reading one of the Morse books, which I must have missed, 'The Secret of Annexe 3 ' by Colin Dexter. It was a very enjoyable read indeed. For much of the tale it is not clear who the victim is, let alone the murderer.It is not oflen that I stay awake to read a book from alpha to omega but this was an exception.

And now to 'Jeeves in the Offing'. It could be forgiven to Shakespeare, some 350 years in advance of Plum to maintain that sleep 'knits the raveled sleeve of care' and so it does, but so too does the world of Wodehouse.

It is a world that never palls and it is a gentle, kindly humour that pervades the page. The reader is safe in the knowledge that order and justice will triumph. That's fine as far as I am concerned!

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