Friday, 2 June 2000

Caryl Brahms & S.J. Simon: You Were There (1950)

Edition: Michael Joseph, 1950
Review number: 517

Unusual though a book written to a large extent in the second person might be, You Were There fails for one major reason - I wasn't. Since the "there" in question is London in the twenties, you would now need to be at least eighty to remember the incidents the book mentions.

Apart from the second person gimmick, the style of the novel is like the far better known - and greatly superior - No Bed for Bacon and Don't Mr Disraeli. It is a humorous, 1066 and All That style take on historical events combined with a romantic plot. Here, however, the history is less amusing and the romance less interesting, and it is hardly surprising that You Were There is even frequently omitted from lists of Brahms and Simon novels at the front of reprints of others.

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