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.

Sign Up to our newsletter

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

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • From the Archive: Martyn Bedford on Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' ,
    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,