Thursday, 30 October 2014
The Angry Island - A A Gill
Subtitled "Hunting the English", this is a series of essays on the National Character by Sunday Times TV and Restaurant critic A A Gill, who is actually Scottish.
Some bits are inevitably better than others. Gill is good on class, exceptional on Letchworth Garden City, and builds to a climax with an attack on the National Trust which to him represents the sealed-in-aspic aspect of Heritage Britain. He is less good on things like political correctness and class, the latterly probably because he is a beneficiary of the class system.
It is readable enough, and I read it to the end with varying interest. The trouble is, I don't like his tone, which is sub Clive James in the days when he revolutionized TV criticism, but without the redeeming intelligence and soul.