Something Sensational to Read in the Train : The Diary of a Lifetime, Paperback

Something Sensational to Read in the Train : The Diary of a Lifetime Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


This is a diary packed with famous names and extraordinary stories. It is also rich in incidental detail and wonderful observation, providing both a compelling record of five remarkable decades and a revealing, often hilarious and sometimes moving account of Gyles Brandreth's unusual life - as a child living in London in the 'swinging' sixties, as a jumper-wearing TV presenter, as an MP and government whip, and as a royal biographer who has enjoyed unique access to the Queen and her family.

Something Sensational to Read on the Train takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride from the era of Dixon of Dock Green to the age of The X Factor, from the end of the farthing to the arrival of the euro, from the Britain of Harold Macmillan and the Notting Hill race riots to the world of Barack Obama and Lewis Hamilton.

With a cast list that runs from Richard Nixon and Richard Branson to Gordon Brown and David Cameron - and includes princes, presidents and pop stars, as well as three archbishops and any number of actresses - this is a book for anyone interested in contemporary history, politics and entertainment, royalty, gossip and life itself.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 752 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray General Publishing Division
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Diaries, letters & journals
  • ISBN: 9780719520624



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I had never had an interest in Gyles Brandreth - a bit too smug - but got this book after seeing some positive reviews, and I am so glad I did. He wrote detailed diaries ever since he was seven years old, and this book is the very entertaining condensed result. At Oxford Gyles put on numerous plays while rushing often to London to negotiate his future with the media, whilst researching prison reform and falling in love and writing a book. And this manic pace never let's up in later years. Unable to say no to an opportunity, even when he has made a name for himself he accepts the job of dressing up as Snoopy and going on a book publicity tour. And even this humiliating activity has a positive spin as, changing in the ladies loos, he surprises an occupant who he subsequently goes into business with.Having seemed to have met every name in public life, and seen politics as an insider when he was a government whip, Gyles is wonderfully gossipy, though very discreet when it comes to his own immediate family. I did sometimes wonder whether he had tinkered with the entries as he often seemed to be able to foretell future events. Wouldn't blame him at all, and I didn't want this delightful diary to end.