Based on the author's long-running column in London's Sunday Telegraph, this diverting book offers literary history in bite sizes, presenting surprising details on each of 50 classic work's genesis and composition. Emphasizing books that are literally inexplicable without this background knowledge, the book covers iconic works from Thomas Moore's Utopia to Joyce's Ulysses. Along the way readers learn what Wordsworth's Prelude was a prelude to, the identity of the original Jeeves, why A Clockwork Orange wasn't A Robotic Banana, and much more.
Used availability for Gary Dexter's Why Not Catch-21?
October 2007 : UK Hardback
September 2008 : UK Paperback