Carole Angier

The Heart and the Head

Diary of a Bad Year

By

Harvill Secker 231pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

This is a grumpy old man’s book. Specifically, it’s a grumpy old lefty’s book. The right wing will dismiss it as the paranoid ravings of a madman (as they dismiss Harold Pinter, quoted with approval here). But they will be wrong. First because history has a way of showing that the most shocking ideas were right after all; and secondly because Diary of a Bad Year is much more than just ideas.

The ideas belong to C, a distinguished South African writer living in Australia. He has been invited to contribute to a book called Strong Opinions, in which six eminent writers pronounce on what’s wrong with today’s world. Evidently C is a well-known and practised moaner; he accepts with alacrity, and lays about him with a will.

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