Review: ‘The Otterbury Incident’ by C. Day Lewis

I’ve just finished reading The Otterbury Incident by Cecil Day-Lewis. I don’t think I’d heard of the author before someone at work recommended and lent me the book, but he was Poet Laureate from 1968 until his death in ’72, and he also wrote under the pseudonym of Nicholas Blake.

The Otterbury Incident was published in 1948, and is set in a small town in England shortly after the Second World War, written from the perspective of a schoolboy named George…

The Otterbury IncidentBlurb

“This is a really super story—I should know, I wrote it. My name is George, and I’m Ted’s second-in-command: Ted is is centre-forward of the Junior XI at King’s School in Otterbury and a first class chap. He’s the leader of our company, and the story began with our battle against Toppy’s company. We were so worked up in the excitement of victory that Nick Yates kicked a football through the big window of the classroom next to the Headmaster’s study.

“Poor old Nick! When the Head said he’d have to pay for it he looked like a puppy with distemper: he’d no hope of raising £4 14s. 6d. in a week than of going to the moon. So we signed a Peace with Toppy’s company and planned Operation Glazier to get the money for Nick. And if you want to know how it worked, and what happened after it was over, you’d better get cracking on Chapter 1.”

The Otterbury Incident on Goodreads

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Review: ‘Capital’ by John Lanchester

Amongst the books I’ve read this month is John Lanchester’s Capital. It’s set in London leading up to the financial crisis (2007-08), focusing particularly on the residents of a fictional Pepys Road, not the real one. The houses themselves are almost as important characters as the people you’ll see mentioned in the blurb…

'Capital' by John Lanchester“The residents of Pepys Road, London – a banker and his shopaholic wife, an elderly woman dying of a brain tumour, the Pakistani family who run the local shop, the young football star from Senegal and his minder – all receive an anonymous postcard with a simple message: We Want What You Have.
Who is behind it? What do they want?

As the mystery deepens, the world around Pepys Road is turned upside down by the financial crash and all of its residents’ lives change beyond recognition over the course of the next year.”

See Capital on Goodreads
See on Amazon.co.uk

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