Friday, June 8, 2012

Courting the grey vote

This month everyone has been celebrating the Diamond Jubilee, including my son Leo who marked the occasion by making a Union Jack at his day nursery. When I asked him what the Jubilee was about he said: "It's for the Queen, because she's been sitting on a chair for a hundred years." Later he asked me if the Queen was allowed to get off the chair when she needed the loo. I replied that nobody knew, and that such secrets were all part of the aura of mystery surrounding the monarchy.

In the midst of all this media focus on our older folk and their contribution, I receive my first ever review in The Oldie, Richard Ingrams's august organ. Whether this is a comment on my own advancing years, or that of the narrator in The Valley of Unknowing, I cannot say, but I'll be very happy if my book gets the grey vote. After all, I'm going a little grey myself...
"Philip Sington has managed something quite remarkable... a flawless, gripping and penetrating depiction of life in the former East Germany, wrapped up as a literary thriller in every sense of that expression... His feeling for not just time and place, but atmosphere and way of life is perfect in a way no other Western writer, not even John le Carré, has achieved."