[An] elegant and elegiac memoir . . . the vigour of the book's attack and the hilarity of its anecdotage ... [shows he was] one of the great power-brokers of literary London . . . He was (and is) a good thing and I salute him.
Walsh's enthusiasm for the writing of the 1980s is infectious
Very funny . . . I laughed long at the set-piece lunch with [Martin] Amis
Through it all, Walsh was there. First as an eager wannabe, then as a full-blooded insider. Any disappointment that his own efforts at a novel didn't prove a ticket to the dream-circus was quickly mitigated once he discovered his potential as a critic, commentator and general facilitator, swishing through the forest as interviewer, literary judge, pundit, speaker, partygoer par excellence . . . An immersive literary history . . . highly readable
Elegant and entertaining
An entertainingly gossipy memoir of the period . . .
This is by no means just a book of literary history, fascinating though much of that is. Walsh also gives us plenty of terrific stories/gossip from those far-off days when newspaper offices were full of typewriter noise and cigarette smoke, and the choice of lunchtime drinks was definitely not restricted to still or sparkling.
Reading John Walsh's adventures in the literary world of the 1980s is like donning a pair of spectacles that bring blurred memories into sudden, sharp focus . . . Walsh describes people, events and places with such accuracy that he will transport oldies back to the era, allowing them to reappraise and appreciate it afresh. His memory - even if dependent on a diary - is prodigious, and his anecdotes polished till they sparkle.