John Cravey's Reviews > Towards the End of the Morning

Towards the End of the Morning by Michael Frayn
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really liked it

12 chapters, 94,000+ words

How have I lived this long without knowing about this book and Michael Frayn? I’ve since learned that Frayn has been an eminent playwright for years. But if not for Valancourt Books, I still wouldn’t know about him or his work. I hope Valancourt wins its fight against the U.S. Copyright Office and becomes more prosperous.

This account of London journalists and their families, colleagues and friends is funny and interesting and such a pleasure to read that I had to force myself to stop reading it through in one sitting.

The satirical comic characters are perfect for depicting journalism and middle class life in the twentieth century. For example, read the first half of chapter two. John Dyson in particular undergoes funny ordeals. He’s the head of a features department in a Fleet Street newspaper and wants desperately to have a television career. His gradual morning-after humiliation over his first appearance on television is funny. His experience with air travel is a perfect depiction of it. It starts out with elation and ends in torture.

John’s colleague, Bob Bell, has problems of his own, including a young girlfriend who he’s having second thoughts about because she writes him twelve-page letters. Here’s a sample from one of her letters where she talks about a conversation with her father:

“Then suddenly out of the blue, while we were having tea, he asked which school you had been to. I had to say I didn’t know, because strange to say you’ve never told me, and he said H’mph.”

This is a minor classic.

3.6 stars

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Reading Progress

August 31, 2018 – Started Reading
September 8, 2018 – Finished Reading
October 27, 2018 – Shelved

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