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“Obviously I want to help independent bookshops cos they’re having a hard time of it at the moment” he begins, explaining the book launch.
An Awfully Big Adventureby Beryl Bainbridge Little, Brown, £8.99I’m a big fan of Beryl Bainbridge, a Liverpudlian like myself.
This is a brilliant novel in its own right, which is set in a Liverpool theatre company but it’s also a brilliant evocation of Liverpool in the Fifties, a vanished Liverpool.
As he explains, “The book is about the failure of the authoritarian left in a way, that authoritarian model where you try and make a better society by forcing people to be good.” He feels that this continued in the 1990s albeit in a different guise, “New Labour was intensely authoritarian and paternalistic.” Given how newspapers in the present day seem to survive on a never-ending diet of micro-celebs and X Factor bilge it would be easy to assume that people are less interested in politics. “In a more generalized sense people are still political” he reasons.
“Britain leads the way in terms of the Boycott Israel movement, which is stronger in Britain than anywhere, the Stop the War movement is incredibly strong” he states.
In the post-war era the advent of tower blocks and town planners saw the city undergo massive changes.
“I’m very bitter about the post-war redevelopment of Liverpool” Alexei states, “I mean coming in through Lodge Lane now, there’s all that shit and palaver [the abandoned post-war housing].
Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson Mariner Books £8.99A great book about how mistakes were made by people who then try to justify them.
For instance, there have been several cases where police in America have charged the wrong person for a murder that didn’t happen but refuse to accept their error.
”) in later years demonstrated the pathos that occasionally surfaced in his act.
Looking positively avuncular nowadays with his graying beard and relaxed demeanour, Alexei’s wit and his opinions are still as sharp as ever.