by Jonathan Meades
Writer and TV presenter's childhood reminiscences.
I am a huge fan of Jonathan Meades's intelligent, entertaining, thought-provoking, irreverent, and amusing television programmes, so I really looked forwards to reading this memoir of his childhood in Wiltshire. I wasn't disappointed. As expected, the book was intelligent, entertaining, thought-provoking, irreverent, and amusing: a real page-turner.
What I particularly enjoyed was the large cast of eccentric characters described by Meades. In many ways—although perhaps somewhat bizarrely—the book reminded me of Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie.
Anyone who has watched Meades's television programmes will know that he is the doyen of unusual adjectives. Amongst others, An Encyclopaedia of Myself includes adjectives such as anaphrodisiac, antic, benighted, bibulous, bosky, breast-pocket-handkerchief-brandishing, buccal, carmine, choric, declivitous, duck-billed, décolleté, echt, emetic, excoriated, exigent, foetid, fubsy, gamboge, gimcrack, haptic, hieratic, immane, inchoate, insalubrious, insouciant, leucous, limpid, lubricious, mimetic, nugatory, ocular, olfactory, oneiric, palatal, peculated, pedagogic, prognathous, quondam, rambunctious, rectilinear, refulgent, ribald, rictal, suede-shod, titular, vainglorious, valetudinarian, vandalistic, and welfarist. I found reading this book on my Kindle made looking up such words much easier.