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Nigeyb

Nigeyb

Me: The Authorised Biography - Byron Rogers Here's a wonderful thing. I recently read a novel called "A Month in the Country. The biography was excellent, and reading it prompted me to look at other books by Byron Rogers. So, a few weeks later, I read "Me: The Authorised Biography".

The first thing to say is it's a wonderful autobiography. Whilst only half way through, I bought a copy for my Welsh brother-in-law. I concluded that the only thing that might make it more enjoyable would be a Welsh ancestry for added resonance and recognition. That said, although Byron Rogers calls it an autobiography, much of the book is devoted to other people. The first chapter quite brilliantly describes how, in the 1980s, Byron Rogers started to receive lurid and explicit letters from women who were in awe of his sexual prowess. A man, with a case full of Bryon Rogers' press clippings, was passing himself off as Byron Rogers. From this surreal and amusing opening, the book rewinds back to Byron Roger's childhood and then, over the course of the rest of the book, meanders back to old age.

The main theme is just how much things have changed in a generation or three. This is a topic that always fascinates me. The book is full of wonderful vignettes that illustrate this change. These include growing up in a staunchly methodist family in the 1950s; being educated in a Carmarthen grammar school; working on a regional newspaper; working for The Times and the Telegraph; writing speeches for Prince Charles; characters in his local pub; the life and death of an eccentric friend; and so on. Every page contains a strange incident, or a hilarious anecdote, or a bizarre image. It's a very enjoyable read. The only criticism I can find to level is that the book is a bit incoherent and goes off on all kinds of tangents, however that didn't impinge on my enjoyment and I will definitely be reading more books by Byron Rogers.