Valerie Grove

Still Lighting Up

The Smoking Diaries

By

Granta Books 240pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

SIMON GRAY HAS become his own best comic character, the fall guy in the drama of his own life – a big, rumpled, anxious-looking fellow, seething with anger or boiling with rage, chain-smoking and (until recently) imbibing ‘bottled inspiration’ from champagne or Glenfiddich, and always Eeyorishly expecting disaster. Every so often Gray delivers another account of the tribulations of a playwright’s life. The last one was subtitled ‘Confessions of a Paranoid’. Fat Chance was a cry of mordant anguish after Stephen Fry deserted his play Cell Mates, which died by contamination.

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