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"There is not a flat page in this mingling of anecdote, comment and self-criticism. . . . An international throng of writers, politicians, soldiers, spies, traitors and eccentrics jostles in these page from Attlee to ...
"There is not a flat page in this mingling of anecdote, comment and self-criticism. . . . An international throng of writers, politicians, soldiers, spies, traitors and eccentrics jostles in these page from Attlee to Wodehouse via Burgess and Philby, Churchill, de Gaulle, Gide, Chanel, Montgomery, Evelyn Waugh."
-The Daily Telegraph
"Much of it . . . is very funny indeed; his description of being inducted into the mysteries of invisible writing when he joined the M16, for instance, is one of the great comic set-pieces that are artfully placed throughout the book. . . . Apart from these, the wit sparkles on almost every page."
". . . this is one of the most delightful and entertaining memoirs of our age."
-The Washington Post
"A sure hand pushes the pen; a splendid mind guides the hand. There are paragraphs in this book that . . . are models of the best of clarity, grace and beauty in the English language."
-The Dallas Morning News
Born in 1903, Malcolm Muggeridge started his career as a university lecturer in Cairo before taking up journalism. As a journalist he worked around the world on the Guardian, Calcutta Statesman, the Evening Standard and the Daily Telegraph. In 1953 became editor of Punch, where he remained for four years. In later years he became best known as a broadcaster both on television and radio for the BBC. His other books include Jesus Rediscovered, Christ and the Media, and A Third Testament.
Posted April 20, 2007
While I know you're not supposed to subvocalize while you read, mouthing the words as you go, I find myself doing so, sounding out the syllables. There is something about this book not merely visual, but beyond that, a pleasure in the words. I have been trying to find what I so like about this book, but part of it is simply pleasure in the reading. Or the hearing, since I see that the second part, originally titled The Infernal Grove, is available read on cassette. That must be amazing, and hopefully it makes it to DVD. In terms of the sheer pleasure of words, this is the best book I've read in English. However, there is something more. There's also an answering Amen! that comes from deep within as Muggers again and again exposes the oppressions and lies of our times, as well as the dizzying propaganda machine that makes it all happen, since many of these lies were knowingly propagated by the leading journalists of our time. It all makes one despair or listen to punk rock, in my case both, and results in a third thing: addiction to Mugg. I find myself devouring everything he wrote. 'In certain strange epochs,' wrote Chesterton, ' it is necessary to have another kind of priest, called poets, actually to remind men that they are not dead yet.' Perhaps also a prose stylist, not a poet, and a dead one, startling us to realize we are still alive.
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