Frank McLynn

Film Buff Laid Bare

Are You Talking to Me? A Life Through the Movies


HarperCollins 312pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

There are three reasons, in ascending order of importance, why this is a priori my hnd of book. Like John Walsh, I had an Irish Catholic upbringing, complete with repression and multiple beatings with a whalebone strap for ‘impertinence’ – ie anything ranging from querying a piece of orthodox scholastic idiocy to looking sideways at a priest (‘dumb insolence’) – flom the Catholic clergy. Secondly, my schooldays took place a stone’s throw from Mr Walsh’s (in Surrey) and at one time I knew his home patch, Battersea, like the back of my hand, so that talk of Northcote Road Market and Lavender Hill has an almost Proustian effect. Thirdly, I share the author’s love of movies and would heartily echo Gore Vidal’s sentiments when he said that the silver screen had probably been his main source of intellectual delight.

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