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Penge Papers


Price: £6.95


Confessions of a metropolitan househusband.

By Brian Wright

“I don't know if you've ever been to Penge? Six miles south of Piccadilly Circus, as the crow flies. Though it's not a trip crows make much these days. Penge people tend to be cautious. Well, commit­ment doesn't come easy when you live in a place the rest of the world seems to find ridiculous. I expect they're just as cautious in Wigan, Neasden or Potters Bar.”

As quickly becomes apparent from the sardonic observations of Penge Man, an unemployed schoolteacher keeping house while his wife goes out to work, Penge is as much a state of mind as a place. Penge people, with their phobias, their prejudices, their secret mis­demeanours, are everywhere. They are the monitors of our misdeeds, the arbiters of our morality and seemliness, the guardians of conventionalism whose own fall from grace is all the more catastro­phic when they miss their footing on the tightrope of their own acceptability.

Brian Wright attracted a huge and enthusiastic following when the Pengc Papers were broadcast on BBC Radio. Here was the Pooter of twentieth-century suburbia, the man who could laugh drily at the shibboleths of his society and class and at the same time endow them with an endearing quality born of instant recogni­tion. From their preferred style of decor – California Regency Rural, Scandi­navian Maison Manorial or Festival of Britain Dilapidated – to their make of car and breed of dog, our schoolteacher has their number, and he pokes gentle fun, both at them and at himself, in a book that is guaranteed to become the cult of the decade.

What the Press said about the broadcast readings of PENGE PAPERS

“Wright brings to Penge and to the humble role of househusband, something of the same deadpan wit that Adrian Mole brings to the urban wilds of the unreliable Giro cheque.” Jill Neville, Sunday Times

“I was moved, but to laughter . . . Mr Wright has made some pointed observations on the mores of Penge (both as place and state of mind), has worked them up into some well-made lines und then delivered them in the manner of one practised in undermining the cherished values of those around him.” David Wade, The Times

“Comic monologues fail easily by too much reaching after effect, but our hero was restrained. His sardonic eye took in architectural styles, envy, ambition and his Marxist friend Reg who tells him he has ‘succumbed to the chronic voyeurism of western civilisation’. Radio could do with a few more voyeurs.” Paul Ferris, Observer

“Very dry. Very funny. Cult stuff.” Time Out

Second hand copies only but the condition of all is good to excellent. There may be inscriptions on the inside cover and possibly library markings or stamps. A rare and hard to find book in good condition.

Hardback 128 pages