Review: Sebastian Faulks’ “The Fatal Englishman: Three Short Lives”

by writereaderly

sebastian faulks the fatal englishmanThis was an accidental biography: I opshopped it because I’d found various of Faulks’ novels to be excellent, and I didn’t read the blurb at all until I decided to give it a go the other night. Three mini-biographies in one book of brilliant Englishman who died too young: Christopher Wood (artist), Richard Hillary (airman) and Jeremy Wolfenden (journalist/spy). Well researched, wryly written (if a little too neatly repetitive at times) and thoroughly grounded in the relevant historical periods of his subjects, this is an(other) excellent yet bleak book. Recommended.

Where it came from: Opshop
Time and manner of reading:
A couple of days of kaleidoscopic reads in armchair and bed
Where it went: BE
Best line of the book: “[Jean Cocteau] … a poet, draughtsman, librettist, talker, impresario and self-publicist with a lifelong passion for what he had to sell” (p.30)
Reminds me of/that: A non-fictional, masculine counterpart of The House of Mirth (one of the kaleidoscopic partner-reads)
Who I’d recommend it to:
Seekers of quality biography/writing
Also reading: Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; Stella Miles Franklin by Jill Roe; Gould’s Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan