Travelling with Tinniswood: The Brigadier’s Brief Lives


MISS PETULA CLARK
I much enjoyed watching on the moving television her series, The History of Western Civilisation.
I confess, though, that when she started singing in her weak litle voice, I turned down the sound and started playing with the reamer on my pipe smoker’s compendium.
It has always been a great solace to me in times of stress and hardship.
Last week I broke my dibbler while watching Lulu.
MR SEBASTIAN COE
A young man of sallow complexion, who appears to have the ambition to run faster than anyone else in the world.
With a personality like his I think he is very wise.
MISS JILLY COOPER
I do like women with gaps in their front teeth.
They are so damnably useful when it comes to scraping carrots.
The sixth Brigadier book can quickly be seen as a companion to The Brigadier’s Tour (indeed, Tour and Brief Lives would later be released in a combined hardback as The Brigadier’s Collection). It’s the same format, a series of ‘profiles’, of greater or lesser length, only this time not of cricketers but rather personalities: people well-known in 1985.
Of course, the Brigadier being the Brigadier, there are the odd cricketer or two herein, but in keeping with the tone of the book, they are not usually described in reference to their sporting achievements.
It’s a better, frequently funnier book than the last few Brigadier collections, simply because, by expanding the frame of reference, Tinniswood opens out the humour and, increasing the range of subjects, gives himself more room.
I have always cherished the comment above as to Sebastian Coe, and consider it to still be more than apt, notwithstanding the inevitable decline of his best racing speed.
Some of the Brigadier’s comments are delightfully scabrous, some demonstrate a twisted affection for characters, everything is seen through the peculiar, disoriented, not-a-prejudiced-man-but lens of the scion of Witney Scrotum.
Having said that, there’s little I can usefully add.
MR TONY BENN
A very shuperior short of Shoshialisht.

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