July 2021 Reads

Here’s the books I read in July…

The Angry Brigade: A History of Britain’s First Urban Guerilla Group by Gordon Carr

Exactly as the sub heading has it, this is a pretty concise history from Gordon Carr, the journalist who made a film about the brigade for BBC (available to watch on YouTube) shortly after their cause celebre. This is a good read though it perhaps inevitably favours the establishment line.

Rating 4/5

The Angry Brigade by James Graham

The book of James Graham’s 2014 play, which I’d loved to have seen live. Oh well, maybe one day. The action is interesting, in that it is split between Special Branch and the anarchists, with the same cast portraying both sides.

Rating 4/5

The Girl From The Fiction Department by Hilary Spurling

The biography of Sonia Orwell, nee Brownell, final wife of George Orwell, the model for Julia, the heroine of 1984. and an important figure on the London literary scene in the twentieth century. Fascinating life, interesting read.

Rating 3/5

The Good Terrorist by Doris Lessing

Engrossing novel about a group of communist subversives – not unlike the Angry Brigade – who live in a squat and dream of destroying the system from within on behalf of the IRA or the Soviet Union, both of whom reject the group’s overtures. A compelling insight into the terrorist mind, the central figure of Alice is quite mad and, as we are in her mind for much of the book, it’s quite a disturbing, yet satirical read. Highlights the amateurism of revolution.

Rating 4/5

Number of books read so far: 34

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