Sunday, February 04, 2007
I review Oliver James's Affluenza in The Sunday Times today. On balance, I seem to have been nicer about the book that I should have been. Its major theme is a banality and the two ideas that support it - that nurture is all and nature nothing and that America is the root of all evil - are simply wrong. But I have a nasty feeling that I was influenced by this. It's an article by Peter Wilby trashing, very unpersuasively, my newspaper. But he doesn't exactly trash me. He calls me 'the most cerebral, if gloomy, writer in the industry.' Cerebral? Well, yes, obviously. But gloomy? Moi? I suspect I was thinking about this when I wrote the review and, as a result, gave James an easier ride than he deserved. It's a butterfly in Tokyo effect. Wilby reaches for a word, settles on 'gloomy' and, as a result, James's breakfast is less disturbed than it might have been. I am a speck in the chaotic flux.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 7:40 am