The BBC TV series “True Love” was the catalyst for this tale, portraying various romantic encounters, all set by the Margate seaside. True love has many forms. A passion for cricket can also be a manifestation of love. Yet it is impossible to discuss cricket, with its broad themes, without reflecting on life itself. I have set my story broadly in 1965, when a girl lost her life. At the time, her death meant little to us but such are the vagaries of writing, that the more I researched the subject, the greater I became drawn in. Any discussion on the circumstances surrounding her murder led inevitably to the inclusion of another theme, which I have encountered in life, violence towards women. I still return to Margate regularly and regard it with deep affection. It was in danger of becoming a wasteland. There are those now, some famous, some often unsung, trying to fashion a resurgence. Another form of true love. May their guardian angels help them succeed.
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By David Lunn
Mar 24, 2013
By john battye 15-Mar-2013 At last we have an autobiography composed,in turn,of brilliant humour,devastating satire and personal honesty.It's a celebration of the imperfections of individual humanity(but categorically not of organised theology)rather than the bland,ghosted accounts of politicians and sportsmen which are bought for their insights but only deliver their egos. Mac's philosophy might be termed anarchic humanism though its overarching thesis is man's inhumanity to woman.The themes of late adolescence, the metaphorical and noble microcosm of cricket and the haunting, guilty recollection of a young life lost but,at the time,viewed as an inconvenient hiatus in the fixture list,are skilfully and intricately interwoven.For Sartre hell is other people;for Carty hell is self-perpetuating authority, particularly religious,even if it is initially,though only temporarily,redeemed in the mind of the reader by the wonderful hilarity of celestial cricket. Mac's warmth is reserved for... More > his family,for those less well equipped for the increasingly brutal Test match of life and for a vanished seaside venue. Memories carried vividly for years and cross-referenced in the amazing filing cabinet of the brain are poured out in a stream of close-packed consciousness.It is as unerring as the tides of Margate whose history and inhabitants are drawn with pride and deep and genuine affection. It is,however,a Margate at the point of decline . There is new hope that JMW(3 letters,of course)can ride to Thanet's rescue in the manner of Mac's Lone Ranger but,in the meantime,we have to be content with nostalgia.Here lie fond memories of those sunlit days when the crowds flocked to the seaside courtesy(or otherwise ) of BR ,for beer and fun,to the accompaniment of 3-letter music.Those were the days,my friends,(the landladies thought they'd never end)pre the Costas-Brava,then del Sol and Blanca and finally Cruises and Coffee. Those were clearly also the days of family secrets,of street-wise naivety,of single-sex grammar schools and single-minded pursuit of sex and batting averages(with predictably single person and single figure results) It is also,however,a book of meticulous scholarship whose chosen subjects are rendered with wit and a sharp all-seeing yet eclectic eye for-even to the uninitiated-the fascinating,the bizarre and ,occasionally,the macabre. Roll on 1966 and all that.I can't wait.I loved it.Superior 5 stars(however implausible for dear old Margate.)< Less
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