The Man Who Saved Britain by Simon Winder - review by Dominic Sandbrook

Dominic Sandbrook

Soaked in 007

The Man Who Saved Britain

By

Picador 293pp £14.99 order from our bookshop
 

Thanks to Marcel Proust, the unassuming madeleine cake has become an indelible symbol of memory and loss. But in the opening paragraphs of this terrific book, Simon Winder gives us an appropriately British alternative: the jumbo bar of Old Jamaica. He remembers eating this splendidly bizarre treat of the 1970s, filled with rum essence and raisins, at one of the key moments in his cultural life – a screening of Live and Let Die at the Tunbridge Wells Odeon.

As Jane Seymour writhed in agony, surrounded by madly convulsing voodoo worshippers, the ten-year-old Winder reached a point of almost cosmic transcendence, overwhelmed by ‘the reality of feeling sick, the perception of being drunk, and the confusion of the notionally West Indian flavour of the treat and the loosely West

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter