Anorak News | Michael White On Cherier Blair, Levy And Prescott’s Booky Wooks

Michael White On Cherier Blair, Levy And Prescott’s Booky Wooks

by | 30th, June 2008

MICHAEL White in The Times Literary Supplement: Cherie Blair and the Tony gang

Prescott’s book, the one with the swear words, was ghostwritten by Hunter Davies, who successfully captures the future Deputy Prime Minister’s tone of voice (“oh aye, we were great little boppers”, he says of his dancing teens) which is cheerfully demotic, often chippy. Levy’s Tiggerish account was polished by another journalist, Ned Temko, who parades all his client’s acknowledged faults, his insecurity, pushiness and vanity, yet renders him hard to dislike. Mrs Blair appears to be her own typist. If she were not a successful QC, her breezy style could earn her a decent living as a magazine writer: her text is peppered with phrases such as “dead impressed” and “dignity is not the word”, and such sentiments as “for me flying on Concorde was a dream come true”.

But her book – the most rounded of the three – is warm, often humorous, at times painfully sad. The generous reader learns to forgive her. “I fancied him rotten and still do”, she says of her husband. The Queen was “clearly very fond of Tony too”. None of which has prevented these three post-Blair autobiographies from being savaged, sometimes in the very newspapers which chose sensational extracts for serialization. To denounce the authors for undignified and mercenary backbiting is to ignore the bargain made: not so much cash-for-honours as cash-for-dignity.

Does anyone buy these books?

Posted: 30th, June 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians Comments (4) | TrackBack | Permalink