iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Episode 4

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

Episode 4

Duration:
15 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 03 April 2014

From Biggles to bee-keeping, John Carey threads together the chapters of his life in books - taking in politics, social history and the skirmishes of academia along the way.

Vignettes of pre-war Hammersmith and Barnes accompany affectionate accounts of Saturday jobs which he was expected to do to compensate the household for staying on at school.

The book is also partly a tribute to the grammar school system. He skewers the snobbishness of Oxford in the 50s but also gives us endearing portraits of the writers and scholars he met and was taught by - including Graves, Larkin and Heaney.

Later in his life, his politics and his sometimes controversial cultural criticism take centre stage, producing a commentator who is not afraid to move between genres and labels, always saying something refreshing and frequently unexpected.

Episode 4
Reviewing television programmes meant having to acquire one.

Read by Nicholas Farrell
Abridged and directed by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

Credits

Reader
Nicholas Farrell
Director
Jill Waters
Abridger
Jill Waters
Author
John Carey

Broadcasts

More from Books at the BBC

Books at BBC logo

Author interviews, readings, documentaries and highlights from the BBC's books content

Sample our books and authors Clip Collection

Clips of Books Content

Interviews, previews and reviews

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss