Everything about this book is endearing but most especially the jacket photograph of the author as an infant. Naked, girlish, shiny-haired, he poses on a rock like a water baby and contemplates his foot. It is a charming portrait – but one that any normal chap would have destroyed on sight. The fact that Perry prints it on his dust jacket, and with the inviting caption 'Naked to mine enemies’ (a masochist's plea if I ever heard one) serves as advertisement that this is not the autobiography of a normal chap. Hooray for that.
What makes him lovable is his gaiety, his silliness (he believes Geoffrey Wheatcroft to be 'omniscient'), and his panache. Even after the most deadly blows, like the loss of the editorship of the Sunday Telegraph, he bobs up again smiling. He likes to put on a good show, to enliven