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On my 'To Read' pile...

Will Self's latest work, Liver, has me so intrigued that I can't wait to read it and may even push it to the front of the To Read queue and get to it straight after the D.H. Lawrence biog.

And, having stayed up to watch Newsnight Review (yes, I know it's Friday night) only to hear a unanimous groaning at the much awaited De Niro/Pacino film Righteous Kill, I also became intrigued by the review of Zoe Heller's latest novel, The Believers, which I shall reserve at the library the minute it becomes available.

There's also the latest offering from Cambridge classicist Mary Beard, Pompeii - The Life of a Roman Town which looks really good. Not so long ago, in an earlier post on this blog, I berated The Telegraph for featuring a podcast from some literary festival where not one person had an accent - and Mary Beard was one of the examples I had cited. Quick as a flash she came back and said she had the accent of her county - Shropshire. Having lived in Shropshire for a few years when I was a teenager I have a fine ear for the Salopian accent and fancy I could even tell the tiniest difference between that of Ludlow and Craven Arms (the latter being blink-and-you-miss-it) - and I couldn't even detect a trace of it on her radio 4 interview the other day. It's impossible to see ourselves as the countless others see us - equally so the hearing.

So many books. So little time.

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I'm also going to tweak section one of this three section critical paper with a view to journal publication because of the academic interest in the claims I make of Mary.

-Dedicated with love and respect to Dr Bruce Lloyd-

And in memory of my parents:
Thomas Valentine and Joan Theresa
Good people who taught me so much more than they realised


The biggest thank-you is due to Norma Clarke, Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University, who supervised this PhD. I never had cause to doubt my initial instincts as Norma proved to be the best mentor I could ever have wished for.

I would also like to acknowledge the generous studentship that I was fortunate to be awarded by Kingston Universi…

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