22 NOVEMBER 1969, Page 30


No. 580: Rave review

Set by W. F. N. Watson : Richard Williams's review, in a recent issue of Melody Maker, of the Lennon-Ono 'Wedding Album' includes a lyrical rave about sides two and four, consisting solely of a single nate sus- tained throughout. These, it turns out, are in fact just the blank reverse sides of two test pressings. Competitors are invited to review an uncut block of Michelangelo's, a blank canvas of Rembrandt's, a virgin sheet found among manuscripts of works by Shake- speare, Shelley, Beethoven, or any other suitable non-composition. Maximum 120 words ; entries, marked 'Competition No. 580', by 5 December.

No. 577: The winners

Trevor Grove reports: It is a frequently heard cavil that books for younger readers are mostly' reviewed for them by adults. Competitors were invited to provide an infant critic's review of a well-known and much-praised book for adults. There was a large entry but too many competitors wasted a good deal too much time getting their spelling deliberately wrong. Best of these Molesworths manques was Lance Haward, who wins two guineas :

I lik this bok as it is abot lif in the cuntry. Ther is this gamkeper hoo dos his marsters gam he is god at it. (This is wat natur techer mens by hussbandry. She ses in the cuntry lif is nise as wimmin are free.) Part of thee gamkepers job is in- between wen the marster is not at horn wen wot he dos is wates owtsid as his job is too kep his misstriss cumperny wen she gos owt to strech her leggs. He dussent enjoy this as he grons a lott. Awso it has lots of nise short werds, wich I lik.

A guinea to J. M. Crooks's Naked Ape, who would appear to have certain interests in common with Lady C:

Dr Desmond Morris is a clever animal man who used to be on Zoo Time on television with a very clever chimpanzee (but he is not so famous now). He's written a peculiar book about a monkey. I don't know why it's called The Naked Ape because every- one knows apes don't wear clothes. This monkey is very boring. It doesn't swing on trees in the jungle. It doesn't do tricks or have tea-parties. It just has sex. I hope Dr Morris will write about lions or gorillas next time.

P.S. The photo on the cover is rather rude.

And three guineas each for Clare Rule's child's guide to The Pickwick Papers, W. D. Gilmour's Moby Dick, W. J. Webster's The Green Man, and Martin Fagg on Freud's Beyond the Pleasure Principle.

The Pickwick Papers shows you how to be happy though old. The hero is an old gentleman without home, wife, children, or pets, but who, with three bachelor com- panions, enjoys life to the full. Travelling by stage coach, the four friends join in everything that comes their way : an elec- tion campaign, cricket, a military review, archaeological digs, field sports, cards, dancing, and the rest. Their day ends in hospitable inns and strange beds. This stimulating story may break up homes, but the elderly whom it encourages to escape from them will never again sigh for the `Good Old Days'.

This spiffing yarn rattles along very well until suddenly it comes to a full stop in a suet pudding of utter blah. Who wants to know what Captain Ahab thinks about that whale or how the blubber of ordinary whales is melted down, when all were waiting for is the final crunch of the Cap-

bin in the whale's jaws. However, the end when it at last comes is well worth it and Mr Melville can be forgiven much. A shortened streamlined version concentrating on the main story would be an even better thing.

The Green Man is another story by K. Amis about his famous character Jim. This time Jim is disguised as a innkeeper and calls himself Maurice but you guess who he is really because as usual he is quite feirce and has loads of people ect he doesn't like and also he is quite childish e.g. when his wife is not there he still has to have somebody to go to bed with him. The story is about a sort of ghost person he sees. I wasn't scared at all but it might be quite frightening for very old people.

This is another interesting book by quite a well-known foreigner which explains all sorts of peculiar things, such as why some chaps go on wetting the bed even in their second year at Prep school, why some chaps are such Mother's Boys and molly-coddled and soft and useless in the scrum—and then, of course, there are girls, he tells you why they are so giggly and silly and the proper attitude for a decent chap to have towards them, so that they keep their proper place and don't interfere with the really important things in life, like war, space travel and stamp-collecting.