This 2009 Sheldrake Press collection of English humorist Harry Graham includes many of his acclaimed 'ruthless rhymes', as well as other work.

I didn't know much about Harry Graham's poetry until I read this volume, and it's obvious that he was a sharp cookie. Sometimes you don't really know whether he's being serious or not, with an example being 'The Battue of Berlin' (though I hope, and think, he is being satirical here!). Graham's rhymes are not all ruthless, though. In 'The Homes of London' he finds abject poverty an issue in which to berate the inhumanity of society, and in 'The Model Motorist' he attacks maniac drivers.

But, Harry Graham is ultimately a very funny writer, and his humour is shown at its best with 'The Neighbours', 'Dinner', 'In-Laws', 'If...!', and 'The Bath'. However, the ruthless rhymes are very ruthless indeed, especially at the beginning ('Indifference') and end ('Calculating Clara' and 'Baby') of the book, and with the callous 'Winter Sports'!

A very good collection, enhanced by the superb black and white period illustrations. The introduction by Miles Kington paints an interesting portrait of Harry Graham's life - and a life into which Graham dipped into very deeply for much of his subject matter!

- Paul Rance/

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Richard Adams - Watership Down
Jane Austen - Pride And Prejudice

Lewis Carroll - Alice In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass

Miguel de Cervantes - Don Quixote
Charles Dickens - A Tale Of Two Cities
Charles Dickens - Oliver Twist
Harry Graham - When Grandmama Fell Off The Boat
Kenneth Grahame - The Wind In The Willows
Graham Greene - Brighton Rock
John Hegley - Glad To Wear Glasses
James Joyce - Dubliners
Franz Kafka - The Trial

Ric Klass - Excuse Me For Living
Robert Lacey, Danny Danziger - The Year 1000
Edward Lear - Complete Nonsense
C.S. Lewis - The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe
Paul Merton - My Struggle
George Orwell - 1984
Wilfred Owen - Collected Poems
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone
J.D. Salinger - The Catcher In The Rye
Anna Sewell - Black Beauty
Fiona Snelson - The NSPCC Book Of Famous Faux Pas
Voltaire - Candide



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