Tuesday, 14 October 2014


Everyone knows about about my predilection for all things appertaining to Len Deighton. Be it novels (particularly those of the 1960s), cookbooks, non-fiction and the various books he edited. One, though, had escaped me for years until last week I finally got my hands on Drinks-man-ship at the right price and in excellent condition for it's age (1964). It's a superb piece of Deightoniana: large (235mm x 325mm), beautifully designed by Derek Birdsall and in it Deighton brings together writing by his pals on all manner of drinks and drinking. It's a magnum of good things- classic sixties photography, typography, and reminisces of drinking by the likes of George Melly and Anthony Haden-Guest (very funny). But do you know, I'd have bought it just for the dust jacket. That's Len himself in close proximation to the model Pattie Boyd (she of Smiths Crisps TV commercials and married to both George Harrison and Eric Clapton who wrote Layla about her). The caption reads 'Photograph of Len Deighton and friend by James Mortimer', and it's still got that 'wow' factor that hasn't dated. It all makes me want to knock back an Underberg and break into a blue packet of Gauloises before reading. 


John Medd said...

I loved his early 70s cook books. Sorta James Bond meets the Galloping Gourmet. Over ice.

Peter Ashley said...

Welcome John. Yes, cook books a big favourite. Especially with the Observer cookstrips, as seen a couple of times in The Ipcress File, pinned to Harry's kitchen divider. Loved your blog.

Anonymous said...

My old boss did a shoot with Patti Boyd on a magazine we worked on about ten years ago.

"She's aged well" he sighed when he got back.

From that day on he had a half smile on his lips and a faraway look in his eyes.

Best, Ten-Inch Wheels