The Smoking Diaries Volume 3: The Last Cigarette

The Smoking Diaries Volume 3: The Last Cigarette

by Simon Gray
     
 

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The final volume of the trilogy that began with The Smoking Diaries finds Simon Gray determined to give up smoking. Really. At last. Can he kick the habit of sixty years? Will he, sometime soon, be able to leave his house without nervously feeling for his two packets of twenty and his two lighters? As this wonderful, wayward record of Gray's life progresses, these

Overview

The final volume of the trilogy that began with The Smoking Diaries finds Simon Gray determined to give up smoking. Really. At last. Can he kick the habit of sixty years? Will he, sometime soon, be able to leave his house without nervously feeling for his two packets of twenty and his two lighters? As this wonderful, wayward record of Gray's life progresses, these questions are overtaken by much larger ones. What was sex like before 1963? Will his name be in lights on Broadway? Why leave the bedside of his dying mother?

With their combination of comedy and serious reflection, of sharp observation and painful self-disclosure, Simon Gray's diaries reinvented the memoir form and are destined to become classics of autobiography.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A great achievement, a terrific read, every page crammed with jokes, philosophical observations - Lloyd Evans, Spectator
His apparently spontaneous, but I suspect meticulously crafted journals are highly addictive, often wildly funny but also, and this is increasingly the case, deeply moving ... they are works of rare honesty, humanity and wit that are surely destined to be read with pleasure a hundred years from now - Sunday Telegraph
There are few things more enjoyable than reading the diaries of Simon Gray ... very, very funny - Irish Mail on Sunday
A new volume of diaries from Simon Gray is always a rare treat - Evening Standard

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781847080721
Publisher:
Granta Books
Publication date:
10/03/2013
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

I’m still in Suffolk, where it’s a typical August afternoon, cold and

damp, with England losing a test match in Birmingham, and things

can’t go on like this. I say that, but how can they change? Well, I can

make them change by stating categorically –That intend to give up smoking.

I’ve left out the ‘I’. Do it again, with the ‘I’ in it. I intend to give up smoking.

There. I’ve put it down. It’s legible, in firm, blue ballpoint. There’s

no getting away from it because it’s plonk in the middle of the page,

and to tear it out would be cheating.

This diary is going to be about my attempt to give up smoking.

It is also going to be my main help in giving up smoking. By the

time I’ve finished it I will be a free man, able to leave the house

without my two packets of cigarettes, and my two lighters, able to

sit down and read without compulsively checking that I’ve got

these four articles in place on the desk in front of me or on the

little table beside me. I shall never again have to grope for a

cigarette while watching television, fly into a panic when I can’t

put my hand straight on the package – is that an unintended

double entendre, ‘put my hand straight on the package’? I have an

idea that ‘package’ has a salacious meaning, or am I thinking of

‘parcel’?

Nor worry that I might fall asleep with a cigarette burning on the

brink of the ashtray, or while hanging from my lips.

There will be no cigarette burns – at least of my making – on my

trousers and my shirt fronts.

The cuffs of my cardigans will no longer be singed. No, that’s not

right. I am devoted to my two cardigans, which are identical in

every respect, including the location and the extent of the singes, so

to put it accurately, there will be no further singes on my two

cardigans. In the unlikely event that I ever have a new cardigan, and

that I wear it, it will never be singed at the cuffs. At least not by me.

Meet the Author

SIMON GRAY was born in England in 1936 and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was the author of over 30 plays, including Butley, The Common Pursuit and Cell Mates, and published several volumes of diaries and books about the theatre, including Enter a Fox and Fat Chance, both published by Granta. He was awarded a CBE in 2005. He died in 2008.

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