I know that I am lucky to enjoy Christmas; lucky not to have to maintain a 24 hour truce with any member of my family; lucky not to have to endure conversations about the succulence of the turkey breast with a maiden aunt; and lucky not to have to spend a solitary 25th December switching from Walt Disney to Billy Smart with an empty bottle of Johnny Walker on my bedside table. One could easily be the only child entertaining ageing parents to gruesome jollifications in provincial hotels; or the Rock ’n Roll star who intended to obliterate a mere three days with a few handfuls of Ecstasy but who is now harmonising with the Heavenly Choir.
Well, the Academy Bookclub could provide a panacea without the Government Health Warning. I guarantee that a dose of Martin Amis’s new novel (London Fields, ABC price £8.95) will make the solitary bed-sit vigil seem positive bliss in comparison with the appalling life led by odious darts champion Keith. A