J W M Thompson

The Writing Gene

Did You Really Shoot The Television? A Family Fable

By

HarperPress 278pp £20 order from our bookshop

Max Hastings’s parents were both journalists of some renown, and his father, Macdonald Hastings, seems to have been in the habit of giving him advice about the writing business. He once urged his son to ‘learn to respond to the challenge of a blank sheet of paper’. Superfluous advice in that family, surely. Was there ever a member of the Hastings tribe who did not delight in filling up that blank sheet? Between them they have written more than eighty books over three generations. This is Max’s twenty-second book. The Hastings stable has also produced innumerable articles, newspaper columns, book reviews and so forth, not to mention all the television programmes of one sort or another. It is a rare family record.

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

    • 'Half-way through The Conquest of Water I felt as if I had been subjected to the literary equivalent of excessive c… ,
    • 'Volume five, then, but still no end in sight. Sandbrook is clearly enjoying himself so much he can’t bear the seri… ,
    • 'By the end of the book something so weighty, stylish and impressive has been built up that one feels far nearer to… ,
    • 'Her ensuing psychotic episode is described so convincingly ... that the reader will wonder if Dobrakovová did not… ,
    • 'The perspectives complement and contest one another, amounting to a glorious, atmospheric set of ventriloquisms.'… ,
    • RT : I reviewed The Testaments for . I will not be taking any questions at this time. ,
    • 'The Testaments is, first and foremost, a manual of resistance ... a type of resistance that is organised, articula… ,