Man-Eating Typewriter by Richard Milward - you have been warned!

I have just finished reading the newly released Man-Eating Typewriter by Richard Milward, and I think it might appeal to anyone who has worked at the seedier end of the London publishing scene over the last half century, unless they are easily offended. It is fabulously well written, but merciless in its subject matter.

I understand it can be a lazy option to draw comparisons with other books, and possibly galling for the author, but in this case, it might be useful for potential readers to get an idea what they are in for in this masterpiece.

If you enjoyed Perfume by Patrick Süskin or American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, then chances are you will love this book. Likewise, if you can remember enjoying Dead Babies by Martin Amis and The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan. If you enjoy alternative worlds created by the likes of Mervyn Peake, or films like Clockwork Orange, Silence of the Lambs, Withnail and I and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, you will also be okay.

You may also be reminded of characters in classics like Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell and Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham, and there are even hints of Proust’s, In Search of Lost Time.

Anyone who enjoyed the grotty underbelly of “Swinging London”, in and around sixties Soho and Fitzrovia, will be very happy in these pages. If they are old enough to remember Julian and his friend, Sandy, from Round the Horne, it will help to get their ears accustomed to the fluent Polari which the narrator uses throughout.

If you fall into any of the above categories, this book is an absolute joy from end to end, if you do not … well, you have been warned.  


Griselda Heppel said…
Well that is hilarious because of your long and wide-ranging list, the only thing I enjoy (absolutely adore) is Withnail and I. Hated A Clockwork Orange and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and was either disturbed by the other titles or knew to steer well clear of them. Can't quite see how Proust fits into this grim company but am ashamed to say I've never tackled him.

So I'll be giving Man-Eating Typewriter a miss! Thanks for the warning.

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