Then I opened the book, and I did not stop reading it till morning. The phone call never did come through. That was, what?, 22 or 23 years ago, and I have in a way, been reading it ever since. I am not sure how many times I have read and re-read it. I sometimes think I know it by heart, but I never do. Each time I read it I find something else. My head is full of pictures – the big car thundering dangerously through the night, the sad houses it visits, the rending descriptions of country solitude and loneliness, of sad, failed parents - and the simply superb brief evocation of how individuals can be left behind by a close relative who achieves greatness, and who is both still present physically in the lives of those close to him, but also gone forever.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Peter Hitchens, writing at his Daily Mail blog: