Page 377. " their cut inspired by the Robert Redford version of The Great Gatsby which had just been released. "

The film in question was released in 1974. The screenplay was written by Francis Ford Coppola and is based on the novel of the same name by F Scott Fitzgerald. Read the IMDb profile here. Two previous adaptations of the book had been made: a silent version in 1926, and another in 1949. The Robert Redford film received luke warm reviews.

The Great Gatsby on Book Drum



Page 377. " I suppose that's why I was chosen to represent the students for the Great Exorcist Debate. "

The Exorcist (1973) is an American horror film adapted from a novel by William Peter Blatty, which took as its source of inspiration the supposedly true events of the demonic possession of a child and the exorcism performed by two priests. It garnered ten Academy Award nominations and grew to become one of the most profitable horror films ever. Critical responses to the film were mixed. Stanley Kauffmann of The New Republic wrote, "This is the most scary film I’ve seen in years — the only scary film I’ve seen in years…If you want to be shaken — and I found out, while the picture was going, that that’s what I wanted — then The Exorcist will scare the hell out of you." Conversely Vincent Canby, writing in the New York Times, described the film as "a chunk of elegant occultist claptrap…[A] practically impossible film to sit through…it establishes a new low for grotesque special effects..."



Page 380. " Maybe that had been the summit. For us both. "

In an interview for the Evening Standard, Stephen Fry is asked about Matthew Osborne:

 "I ask if the pseudonymous Matthew, with whom he eventually achieved some form of splendour in the long grass, had been in touch since the book came out in 1997. He had. How did he take it?  Very well. He is very happily married with children. A wonderful chap and hugely successful as it happens,' Fry chuckles, incredulous. 'I think his wife knows because she is extremely friendly to me in a way that suggests to me she knows all about it and is very happy with it. I see him a couple of times a year, I suppose.'" 


Page 398. " The Festival was too vast and frightening "
by cm

One of a pair of music festivals (the other being Leeds), the Reading Festival takes place over the August bank holiday weekend. It originated as the National Jazz Festival in 1961, and is the oldest popular music festival still running in the world.