Diana Athill

Shoot For the Moon

Nocturne: A Journey in Search of Moonlight

By

Hamish Hamilton 320pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

This book may become many people’s favourite, for reasons which they will find hard to explain. ‘Moonlight’, says James Attlee in his opening chapter, ‘is a subject almost universally regarded as off-limits to contemporary writers, too kitsch, debased and sentimental to be worthy of serious consideration. This alone would make it a subject worth exploring.’ Particularly so because it had occurred to him that we have paid for the boon of electricity by an almost complete loss of darkness and the moon’s lovely alleviation of it – certainly so in towns, under their rusty, pinkish glow of diffused electric light. So he sets out to rediscover and explore the night, and leads us with him in a way so far from being kitsch and sentimental that we become hungry for more.

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