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Kindred Spirits: Adrift in Literary London

de Jeremy Lewis

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The second volume of Jeremy Lewis’s wonderfully entertaining autobiography sees him starting out, with a mixture of diffidence and self-professed incompetence, on a career in publishing. We follow his unexpected elevation, via bibulous lunches and slumberous afternoons, from miniondom to boardroom, before the inevitable expulsion occurs and he finds himself back in his familiar suburb, gazing out of the window and dreaming of Arcadia. Along the way he comes across a host of kindred (and sometimes very decidedly unkindred) spirits from the literary and publishing worlds: tucking into cod and chips with Jane and Geoffrey Grigson, drinking tea with Kingsley Amis and retsina with Patrick Leigh Fermor, and looking on with awe and admiration as a dhoti-clad Mr Chaudhuri, India’s greatest writer and a sprightly nonagenarian, cuts clean through a telephone cable while digging a trench for his roses, instantly disconnecting all the houses down his quiet Oxford street. Hilarious as Jeremy Lewis’s misadventures may be, 'Kindred Spirits' is tinged with melancholy, with a sense of chances missed and lost for ever, and the implacable passing of time. Exhilarating reading … a perfectly judged memoir, elegant and funny, inspiriting and illuminating.PATRICIA CRAIG, 'Independent' The funniest book I have ever read about publishing … this is not merely a hugely entertaining book, but also an important one.CHRISTOPHER SINCLAIR-STEVENSON, 'Daily Telegraph' That he’s a ‘nonentity’ is immaterial. Indeed, it rather points up his skill. Having no previous interest in Lewis’s life, I read, absorbed and with the kind of pleasurable intensity usually derived from thrillers.NIGELLA LAWSON, 'Spectator'… (més)
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[Includes] a vivid and slightly mocking account of working editorially for Andre [Deutsch] in the seventies.
afegit per KayCliff | editaMentors and Friends: short lives of prominent publishers I have known, Ian Norrie (Nov 26, 2010)
 
Hilarious account of a chequered career in British trade publishing.
afegit per KayCliff | editaLOGOS: The journal of the world book community, Gordon Graham (Nov 26, 2010)
 
Kindred Spirits is not only a delight, but also says everything which needs saying about what has happened to publishing, and why.
afegit per KayCliff | editaStet: an editor's life, Diana Athill (Nov 26, 2010)
 
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The second volume of Jeremy Lewis’s wonderfully entertaining autobiography sees him starting out, with a mixture of diffidence and self-professed incompetence, on a career in publishing. We follow his unexpected elevation, via bibulous lunches and slumberous afternoons, from miniondom to boardroom, before the inevitable expulsion occurs and he finds himself back in his familiar suburb, gazing out of the window and dreaming of Arcadia. Along the way he comes across a host of kindred (and sometimes very decidedly unkindred) spirits from the literary and publishing worlds: tucking into cod and chips with Jane and Geoffrey Grigson, drinking tea with Kingsley Amis and retsina with Patrick Leigh Fermor, and looking on with awe and admiration as a dhoti-clad Mr Chaudhuri, India’s greatest writer and a sprightly nonagenarian, cuts clean through a telephone cable while digging a trench for his roses, instantly disconnecting all the houses down his quiet Oxford street. Hilarious as Jeremy Lewis’s misadventures may be, 'Kindred Spirits' is tinged with melancholy, with a sense of chances missed and lost for ever, and the implacable passing of time. Exhilarating reading … a perfectly judged memoir, elegant and funny, inspiriting and illuminating.PATRICIA CRAIG, 'Independent' The funniest book I have ever read about publishing … this is not merely a hugely entertaining book, but also an important one.CHRISTOPHER SINCLAIR-STEVENSON, 'Daily Telegraph' That he’s a ‘nonentity’ is immaterial. Indeed, it rather points up his skill. Having no previous interest in Lewis’s life, I read, absorbed and with the kind of pleasurable intensity usually derived from thrillers.NIGELLA LAWSON, 'Spectator'

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