Page 354. " Until that moment, I had been content and perfectly delighted to watch The Guns of Navarone and You Only live Twice "

The Guns of Navarone (1961), starring Gregory Peck, is based on the World War II novel by Alistair MacLean. It concerns an Allied team of 'cut throats' whose objective is to penetrate enemy territory and destroy a critical military insallation. It was a huge box office hit and the highest grossing film of 1961.

You Only Live Twice (1967) was the fifth James Bond film. It starred Sean Connery. The screenplay was written by Roald Dahl.  



Page 355. " In a Clockwork Orange there was the bad, uncontrollable, rebellious, intolerable and intolerant adolescent "


Based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Anthony Burgess, this controversial and disturbing Stanley Kubrick film explores the notion of free will, whilst tracing the violent adventures of a nihilist teenage gang as they rape, intimidate and thieve their way across the land. It was the first film in history to make use of the Dolby Sound system.

Page 364. " I grandly decided to ape the structure and ironic style of Byron's masterpiece Don Juan "

The Byronic stanza predates Byron by a few hundred years. It is described in the Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms as 'An eight-line iambic stanza ryhming abababcc'. As fashioned by Byron, the ottava rima uses the rhyming couplet at the end of each stanza as a kind of comic flourish.



Page 369. " the strings of Mantovani "

Annunzio Paolo Mantovani (1905-1980) was Italian by birth, but his family moved to England when he was still a small child. He is best known as a popular conductor of light-orchestral music.  He was the musical director for a number of plays by Noel Coward. Joseph Lanza has described Mantovani's sound as "sound tapestries with innumerable strings", further opining that 'the sustained hum of Mantovani's reverberated violins produced a sonic vaporizer foreshadowing the synthesizer harmonics of space music.' His recordings certainly made use of new studio technologies and was the music of choice for a good many stores specializing in stereo hi-fi systems. A more stringent critic than I might describe the Mantovani sound as 'elevator music'.  

Listen on Spotify:   La Mer      Begin the Beguine     The Godfather

Page 372. " listening to Don Maclean's American Pie, as one did in those days, marvelling at the poetry of Vincent "

The album American Pie was released in 1971.



 Don McLean – American Pie


Don McLean – Vincent




The lyrics for 'Vincent' begin:


Starry starry night

paint your palette blue and grey

look out on a summer's day

with eyes that know the

darkness in my soul.

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