Melly on Savile 1980

George Melly jazzman, writer and critic wrote about the now disgraced DJ Jimmy Savile in the book The Media Mob (Collins 1980) which was illustrated by Barry Fantoni. Melly was no fool and even something of a cynic but this encomium shows just how deeply Savile duped everybody...

He doesn't really do anything, he just is. The lock of inappropriate dyed hair over the craggy, patently heterosexual face, the eccentric but meaningless clothes, the cigar, the parrot cries of 'Howzabout about that guys'n gals', the flat Yorkshire accent:  none of it should add up and yet somehow it does. The reason, I believe, is that Savile  is that rarest of all human creatures, genuinely good right through, a kind of bizarre saint. He is genuinely odd, too, with big cars and his job as a hospital porter and his passion for physical endurance tests. But his goodness is manifest; people respond to it automatically.

At the same time George has this to say of the astronomer Patrick Moore for whom there was an outpouring of sentiment when he left the planet last year...

...tie awry, hair crackling electricity, he sprays out words at the speed of light as though attempting to bridge the vast and silent interstellar spaces which are his province..he reminds me of a werewolf just beginning to feel the effect of the full moon… I have never read a kindly word about [him].

Rushdie blurb for T.C. Boyle

Salman Rushdie (billed here as winner of the 1981 Booker Prize) blurb on the back cover of the jacket of T. Coraghessan Boyle's Water Music (Gollancz, London 1982):

"Water Music goes over the top and also round the bend. It is a book in the worst possible taste, serves no useful purpose and is crammed with disgusting, filthy ideas. Its title will make Handel turn in his grave. It stinks of gin and Africa. It also bubbles, or should I say Boyles, with life, language, comedy, energy and other forms of weirdness.Gulp it down, it beats getting drunk."