Literary critic, cultural commentator, TV personality, journalist, poet, political analyst, satirist and Formula One fan: Clive James is a man (and master) of many talents, and the essays collected here are testament to that fact. Whether discussing Bing Crosby, Bruno Schulz or Shakespeare, he manages to prioritise style and substance simultaneously, his tone never less than pitch-perfect, his argument always considered. With each phrase carefully crafted and each piece offering cause for thought, the resulting volume - which takes the reader from London to Bali, theatre to library, from pre-election campaigning to sitting in front of the TV at home, watching The Sopranos and The West Wing - is remarkable not only for its range and insight, but also its intimacy and honesty.
‘Clive James realised early on that a quick wit needs to be harnessed to a patient hand if the writer is going to please anyone other than himself, and set about polishing his sentences until they gleamed . . . You’d hate him if you didn’t enjoy reading him so much’ Daily Telegraph