‘So here I am, two hours into my sixty-sixth year … The truth is that I’m nastier than I used to be back when – back when I was sixty-four, for instance, when I was nastier than when I was sixty-two and so forth, back and back, always the less nasty the further back, until I get to the age when I was pre-nasty, at least consciously, when the only shame I knew was the shame of being found out which was when I was, well, about eight, I suppose.’
When he turned sixty-five, Simon Gray began to keep a diary: not a careful honing of the day’s events with a view to posterity but an account of his thoughts as he had them, honestly, turbulently, digressively expressed. The Smoking Diaries is the result, a book in which one of Britain’s most amusing and original writers reflects on a life filled with cigarettes (continuing), alcohol (stopped), several triumphs and many more disasters; a record of shame, adultery, friendship and love. Few diarist have been so frank about themselves, and even fewer so entertaining.
LISTEN TO SIMON GRAY READING FROM THE SMOKING DIARIES:
PRAISE FOR THE SMOKING DIARIES
‘I never believe people when the say they laugh out loud at books, but there I was with The Smoking Diaries, laughing out loud over and over again.’ – Craig Brown
‘Gray is a fluent and compulsive diarist obsessed by a Pepysian regard for trivia; he sustains a perfectly pitched desperation with irresistible zest.’ – Michael Ratcliffe, Observer
‘Gray is as fine a prose writer as he is a playwright. Sublimely absurd. Comedy at its blackest.’ – Howard Jacobson
Special Offer: Buy the audio books of all three volumes of The Smoking Diaries, and Coda, all read by the author, for £40 (a saving of £27.96), or get 20% off each individual CD volume (RRP £16.99) including free P&P within the UK.
To use this offer simply visit www.faber.co.uk, add the books to your shopping basket and use the code GRAYFOUR to get the four volumes of diaries on CD for £40, or GRAYCD to get 20% off the individual audio volumes.
The Smoking Diaries is the first volume of The Smoking Diaries Trilogy. The other volumes are The Year of The Jouncer and The Last Cigarette. The Smoking Diaries is published in the following editions:
The Smoking Diaries (Granta Books 2004 ISBN 1-86207-907-2)
The Smoking Diaries Trilogy Box Set (Granta Books 2008)
The Smoking Diaries audio book (read by the author): (Faber and Faber ISBN 978-0-571-24142-2)