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Summary

A.A. Gill was an exceptional writer. Savage and compassionate in equal measure, he was always opinionated, always original, often surprising, and his writing illuminated from the page.

This book, the second posthumous collection of his journalism, brings together pieces from near and far. He was ferociously well travelled, and once wrote that for all our ability to cross the world at will, 'abroad is as foreign and funny and strange and shocking as it ever was, and our need to know our neighbours every bit as great'. This is a book about meeting those neighbours. 

Wherever he was - in London or the Kalahari, Benidorm or Beirut, with the glitterati in St Tropez or the nightclubs of Moscow, in the ruins of earthquake-struck Haiti or in a camp with the displaced Rohingya, he had the ability to pin down the heart of a story and render it unforgettable. He was a peerless writer about food, and so we also get to join him at tables all around the world, from a motorway service station café to the sophisticated delights of El Bulli. 

Fearless in his judgement, often provocative, and endlessly thought-provoking, he had the gift of making his readers see the world in a different way. And, always, of making them laugh. This collection is another opportunity to marvel at a master at work.

©2020 Adrian Gill (P)2020 Orion Publishing Group

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Superb listen!

Simply brilliant book, excellently read. Gill was a master of descriptive prose whether writing about to travel, food, people or...life. Written with his usual irreverence and witticisms, it can, when describing poverty around the world, also make you stop, sit up and remind you of your privileged life. The format lends itself to a chapter a night but it’s easy to do 2 or 3. Best thing I’ve read for years.

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Just the best

All the superlatives and praise for the writing are perfectly justified. And Bill Nighy's narration is excellent.

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The best book I’ve listened to this year. Terrific.

I attempted to review this book on YouTube and failed because I just can’t do it justice. I think it might be how inadequate A.A Gills sublime writing makes me feel or that I’m so excited about discovering him that I just can’t get words out properly. It’s just so interesting and fun and depressing and thought provoking. His style is unique and it’s narrated by Bill Nighy which is ridiculously good in itself! It’s a shame Gill couldn’t be around to narrate it himself as he had a superb voice as well but Bill does a brilliant brilliant job. Loved this book x

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Moreish, thought provoking, spiky and very funny

Nighy’s delivery is at one with the louche, intelligent and perceptive text, and Gill’s adventures take you all over (and under) the world. I have loved having this as a go-to as a breather between meatier journalism or fiction. This sits somewhere in between and is a series of snapshot x-rays of a period, while also remaining essentially time-less.

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Silk for the ears

The depth and subject range of AA Gill’s writing is astonishing together with signature wit and colourful description makes this book a roller coaster of an emotional ride. It’s not just all free dinners with Jeremy Clarkson. He paints pictures with words about everything from architecture to poverty and religion, burn victims and war. Sometimes it was quite difficult to listen and other times, an actual joy. What a writer. And I’m not sure they’ve chosen a better person to read it than Bill Nighy. Excellent.

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Breathtaking vocabulary/First rate narration

Highly recommend. In noting AA always dictated/telephoned his copy through on account of his dyslexia; his sentences, command of language and acerbic wit is breathtaking. Bill Nighy's narration in bringing the text to life is masterful.

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Sorely missed

I expected the lush panoply of similes about food and about eating. I looked forward to the arch observations, the imbuing of every morsel and every ingredient with a hilarious weight of meaning. What surprised, then enthralled me was the politics of Gill’s writings, his condemnation of the various bandits, mugs, tin-pot dictators and instant mafiosi inhabiting our world, his empathy for the poor, the starving, the widowed, the son-less, the nearly dead. Bill Nighy was so good that you wonder whether anyone else could have narrated this. With A.A. Gill one always leaves the table slightly hungry, knowing the chef is capable of anything and wondering when one might return. But now he won’t be there, we won’t have anything more on the topics that made him legendary.

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Magnificently written, ……by a soul who knew how to communicate the essence of life

Written by a soul who knew how to communicate the essence of life, and beautifully read by Bill Nighy.

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Audible deliciousness

Bill Nighy, wonderful choice as narrator. Author evokes the senses with the english language.

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Intro

The intro alone is worth the credit or purchase. Such a personal testimony to the word. Maybe it’s having a daughter myself but it is really engaging. Bill Nighy is good as well, but the intro is the shit.