All of These People: A Memoir by Fergal Keane - review by John Sweeney

John Sweeney

Through A Pint Glass, Darkly

All of These People: A Memoir

By

HarperCollins 381pp £20 order from our bookshop
 

When a writer’s prose flows as smoothly as a pint of ‘SmoothFlow’ beer, you can’t but be a bit irritated with the man. Writing for the rest of us is like breaking rocks. But for Fergal Keane whole paragraphs come perfectly poured with a head of cream. He talks as well as he writes and his gift is somehow unfair and unnatural. So it’s a tribute to the strength of this book and his genius for storytelling that my jealousy was outgunned by my enjoyment.

All of These People is a first shot at autobiography, freakishly early for a man in the first blush of middle age. The mainspring of the book is Keane’s search for some kind of forgiveness for his alcoholic father, who left his wife and wrecked his talent because of the

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