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Oh, F.F.S: not Corfu again...

Gerald Durrell’s “my family and other animals” was one of my favourite childhood books (which might explain why visiting Corfu was something of a disappointment when I visited in 1988...), and Lawrence’s “The Black Book” remains an adult favourite. Nevertheless it was rather depressing to find that The Times devoted two pages of its shrinking review section to a memoir by Lawrence’s wife’s daughter, Joanna Hodgkin, today (21 Jan 2012). If this rambling and disorganized extract is anything to go by, there is nothing new here; just another relentless trawl around one of those families, like the Amises, Mitfords and bloody Windsors, that the media seem so much more fascinated in than anyone else.

A few pages on we are informed that The Bookseller reports that sales last year were their lowest since records began ten years ago; surely the reviewers could focus on new books about the state we’re in rather than endlessly replaying true life sagas from a distant age?

Rant over – back to the rewrite of “emptiness”. I read the other day that your mental ability starts to decline when you hit 45 – which I do, a week today. Best get me skates on...

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