Sebastian Faulks

Pilgrim in Puttees


By Jonathan Raban

Collins 301pp £10.95 order from our bookshop

When the English racing driver Nigel Mansell won the 1986 British Grand Prix in front of thousands of cheering supporters and swept to the top of the drivers’ table, his post-race interview with the BBC’s stentorian Murray Walker contained no euphoria or shared congratulation; it concentrated on the fact that a last-minute switch of car had left him without a water bottle. ‘How do you feel?’ bellowed Walker. ‘I’m really tired,’ whined Mansell. ‘And I couldn’t have a drink of water.’ Now, after his talented but gloomy first novel Foreign Land, Jonathan Raban has produced in Coasting a sustained circuminsular whinge that threatens to confirm him as the Nigel Mansell of English letters.

Sara Stewart


Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Interesting thread by Aki there on inclusivity in publishing. (Read her tweets for full thread.),
    • RT : A conference about inclusivity in publishing is a fantastic idea, but doesn't £200 seem a short-sighted undermining of, well, inclusivity?,
    • Calling all friends of bulbous salutations & the elfin grot: lots of entries to have already come in, but my door’s still open...,
    • 'Why the hell don’t they have more fun with their money?' Patrick Leigh Fermor skewers the super-rich ,
    • When Lenin went interrailing: Catherine Merridale charts his journey in her new book ,
    • Deadline today to win a pair of tickets to The Entertainer starring Kenneth Branagh. To enter, email marketing[at] .,