Michael Frayn

The Long And The Short Of It

Stuck indoors? Feeling cooped up? Day 4 of my self-incarceration found me asking what exactly it is I did when I went out so much. It couldn’t just have been shopping and meeting friends, could it? Admittedly I’m in an unusual situation; my home is half-inside, half-outside because everything inside faces out, so I am […]

Who Wants To Read About Work, Work, Work?

This week saw the death of Frank William Huline Dickens, creator of Bristol, a cartoon strip which ran for 41 years in the Evening Standard – a world record. Bristol was a little everyman at a desk, working for a vast faceless corporation. The character successfully transferred to stage, radio and TV, with Freddie Jones […]

Why It’s A Good Idea To Read Plays

When I was at school we were made to read Jacobean plays cold from text; it was horrible and made no sense to my teenage ears. It took a long time to understand why text reading was a good thing, but once I understood I started doing it for fun, and I still do it […]

Looking For The Funniest English Book Ever Written Part 1

Setting aside the aforementioned PG Wodehouse, who really deserves his own special shelf, I spent an idle moment searching my bookcases for the single volume I found the funniest. In this I was purely considering its comedy value, not social comment. I came up with this batch. Obviously ‘Vile Bodies’ by Evelyn Waugh is a […]

Getting Their Attention

I’ve just read an article in which several newspapers, the Telegraph included, have been castigated for burying tags into the F-formation type in their lead online articles. Apparently we read in the shape of the letter F, starting with the first and second lines, then scanning down the left-hand side of the page. By sticking […]