Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lights Out for the Territory - post IV

Although this book in some respects is showing its age, an irony for something that is so good at charting history, what nails it to the 1990s is the pedestal that Jeffrey Archer is placed on.

Since his spell at her majesty’s pleasure and his virtual disappearance from the political scene it is hard to remember when Archer was able to provoke strong feelings.

In previous days I remember driving friends past his home in Granchester and putting my foot down as they took the opportunity of a slow turn past his gates to wind down the window and shout abuse. But that was when it felt like he could do something.

Now his name and the reaction of Sinclair to it make this book seem older than perhaps it would have been. There is a moment when Sinclair describes the potential meeting with Archer as pivotal to the whole Lights Out project. You wonder if he would say the same now.

What doesn’t stop is his ability to engage the reader’s interest. You don’t just have to be a Londoner, or living in the City, to appreciate the power and influence that the past can have on the present.

More tomorrow…

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