Falling Towards England

Clive James

07 November 2008
176 pages


The second instalment of his famed unreliable memoirs, Falling Towards England sees Clive James set sail for London – a long way from the acclaimed author, poet and broadcaster he would one day become . . .

'A comic triumph' – Ian Hamilton, London Review of Books

Waving goodbye to Sydney, Clive James arrives in 1960s England with nothing much besides the clothes on his back, in search of fame and fortune. Idealistic and uncompromising, if short on cash, he plans to get a low-paying menial job by day and compose poetical masterpieces by night. London is beginning to swing, but our hero is flat broke. The menial job proves elusive, with steady employment as hard to find as a room of his own.

In a succession of more or less unsatisfactory digs, which include a bedsit, a barge, and a large paper bag, he attempts to stay warm, knuckle down, practise the Twist, plan those poetical masterpieces and improve his unsatisfactory wardrobe. Reflecting on these years, Clive is at his erudite and hilarious best.

Falling Towards England is the second book of memoir from Clive James. Continue his story with May Week Was In June.

A comic triumph, full of terrific jokes and brilliantly sustained setpieces.
James’ wickedly funny jokes and jibes make you laugh out loud and feel warm to the man. No wonder women wanted to feed him greens, and men lend him money.