Clive James — still the master

culturalamnesia.jpgI’ve always shied away from posting book recommendations or reviews on my blog. Along with ‘my wine of the moment’, ‘this is what my pets are doing now’ and ‘CD of the week’ I find such information more than a little twee and avoid it when I see it on other sites. Alas, if I was going to succumb it was always going to be to the Aussie master of dry wit. I’ve been reading, listening to and generally enjoying Mr. James since the mid eighties when I read ‘The Crystal Bucket’ as a kid. His latest book, Cultural Amnesia, is a corker and for today’s lazy readers (like myself) it’s easy to dip in and out of consisting as it does of 106 bite-sized chapters on various historical figures from Charlie Chaplin to Margaret Thatcher. Kudos to The Times for getting the man himself of post online film versions of abridged selected chapters. Here’s a taster: “Somewhere under the quiff and eventually the rug. Tony Curtis weighed a line for its rhythm and melody, and said it as if it could be said in one way only, and no uddah.”

If that’s not your bag then tuck in to Scar Tissue. 41fscdpe46l_ss500_.jpgYou don’t have to be a Red Hot Chili Peppers fan to enjoy this and the fact that Anthony Kiedis’ upbringing is gratifyingly exactly as you imagine it to be doesn’t make the revelations any less fascinating.

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