DYING FOR BEGINNERS
Charlie Courtauld makes it clear he doesn’t “do misery memoirs”, he’s not brave and not wise. He doesn’t deny being brilliant and funny, which is just as well, because even in the midst of suffering from multiple sclerosis he is dazzlingly witty. Courtauld was an eccentric contrarian who became a TV producer and journalist. Even near the end he was curious about his illness. He complains only that his head nods as if he enthusiastically agrees “with whatever baloney has just been said – even though it’s probably drivel. I never agree with anyone, so it’s torture to give that impression.” This collection is playful and uplifting. Someday, says Charlie, someone will find a cure but “I’ll be long gone by then – and not in much pain”.