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Summary

After Unreliable Memoirs, Falling Towards England, and May Week Was in June comes the next instalment in the ongoing saga that is Clive James's life. His fourth volume of autobiography is every bit as eventful, entertaining, engrossing, and honest as the previous three.

At the very end of May Week Was in June, we left our hero sitting beside the River Cam one beautiful spring day in 1968, jotting down his thoughts in a journal. Newly married and about to leave the cloistered world of Cambridge academia for the racier, glossier life promised by literary London, he was, so he informed his journal, reasonably satisfied. With his criticism beginning to appear in magazines and newspapers, such as the New Statesman, and his poetry published in Carcanet, as well as a play then being performed to rave reviews at the Arts Theatre, James had good reason to be content. But what happened next?

This is the question posed, and answered, by North Face of Soho.

Listen to our fascinating interview with Clive James on the Audible.co.uk Podcast.
©2006 Clive James (P)2006 Macmillan Publishers Ltd

What listeners say about North Face of Soho

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Clive James on Top Form. What More Could We Ask?

What made the experience of listening to North Face of Soho the most enjoyable?

Clive James is such a brilliant and funny writer and an iconic and distinctive narrator.

What was one of the most memorable moments of North Face of Soho?

I loved the stories of Clive James growing up with his mother and his memories of his childhood in Australia.

Which character – as performed by Clive James – was your favourite?

His observations on the 'famous,' particularly celebrities and movie stars are brilliant. His story about meeting and interviewing Burt Lancaster on set with Michael Winner was wonderful.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Those of us who grew up with TV from the 1970's, 80's & 90's just love to listen to Clive James. This book will cause laughter and some sorrow, and then laughter again.

Any additional comments?

Thank you so much for giving us this as an audio book.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

er, um, well, great

Witty, clever, interesting, enlightening, moving, and amusing. What more can you ask for in a memoir?

Classic Clive James; he could make a walk around the block to get a paper, a packet of fags, and a pint of milk into a best seller.

4 people found this helpful

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Always witty

If you could sum up North Face of Soho in three words, what would they be?

Funny, interesting and educational.

What was one of the most memorable moments of North Face of Soho?

His editorial exploits in London.

What does Clive James bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

His own voice used, tell it how he meant it to sound.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Bold, Brave and Humble

Any additional comments?

Great Read.

3 people found this helpful

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A gentle listen to a great character.

... so much I never knew about Clive James. Always enjoyed his dry wit and wisdom.

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Enjoyed it thoroughly

The 4th book of his loose autobiographical Unreliable series is Clive James at his best. As adulthood dawns he goes through the many areas of his post University career from newspaper columnist to playwright onto author and eventually starting as a television presenter. His style of writing is genuinely funny & his reading suits it totally. The only frustration is that the more I learn about the many faces of Clive James the less I seem to know about him. Highly recommended and thoroughly enjoyed.

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Clive’s worst work

I was a massive fan of Clive’s first two volumes of autobiography. This one is a rambling, at times quite pompous, deeply flawed book. The self-deprecating anecdotes, which worked so well in previous books, seem very contrived and forced. And they don’t ring true. Very poor.

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Laugh out loud - brilliant!

Clive James tells brilliant stories about his rise to fame. I realised by the end of the book how much I miss his voice and humour. A great tonic in these serious times!

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Simply perfection by Mr James, again

Laugh out loud brilliance from a superlative writer and word magician. would highlyrecommend a trip through the madness.

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  • Larkin
  • 23-05-08

no r

I enjoyed the book, in spite of being largely unfamiliar with the subject. This was due to the flow of James' narrative and his humor. However, some one should tell him that Bix Biderbecke's last name does not end in an 'r'.

1 person found this helpful