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‘The best play I have seen for some time … its faithfulness and fine feeling left one with something of that exultation that great tragedies leave.’ J.C. Squire


‘A piece of which one would not miss moment, incident, or personage.’ James Agate

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‘The difficulty is to control one’s enthusiasm or  to praise it temperately, a work of high literary skill and very delicate aesthetic perception…radiantly delightful.’ Evelyn Waugh


‘A most fascinating journal … exquisitely entertaining.’ David Garnett


‘The only book about India by an Englishman in which I have not been conscious of the author’s nationality while reading it. To me, this in itself speaks of the book’s triumph.’ Saros Cowasjee

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‘A freshness and an innocence of vision that has never before been directed at the canine world.’ E.M. Forster


‘Nobody who reads it will for get it. It carries, like all else J.R. Ackerley does, the stamp of his unique vision and particular genius.’ Elizabeth Bowen


‘A flawless minor masterpiece  … It is the only “dog book” I know to record human-canine love in terms of absolute equality between the protagonists.’ Rosamund Lehmann


‘A veritable little marvel of brilliance and shockingness. I don’t know when I read anything so indecent, disgusting, touching, beautiful and stylish; I do fervently recommend it.’ Julia Strachey 

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Winner of the 1962 W.H Smith Annual Literary Award

‘A miniature masterpiece that will become a classic.’ Raymond Mortimer


‘Beautiful and superbly executed… What a brilliant book this is!’ Paul Scott


‘The writer of this book belongs to that rare and interesting group of writers who contrive, without ever intending to do so, to make an art of their silences. What he does produce is like nothing that has ever been written before or since.’ Times Literary Supplement


‘The most original autobiography I have ever read.’ Truman Capote​


‘Beautifully organized, wittily and precisely written.’ Angus Wilson


‘Extraordinary … a carefully, consciously considered triumph of confessional art.’ Geoffrey Grigson

‘A masterpiece of autobiography, to be ranked with Gide.’ London Magazine


‘’This book is a masterpiece, and there is no need to prefix this judgment with a tentative adjective.’ The Times

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Originally commissioned by the Observer as an obituary, Ackerley’s ‘portrait’ of  his closest friend was written in 1967 but proved too long to publish in full. A much abbreviated version appeared in the newspaper on 14 June 1970, but this is the full version, published by Ian McKelvie later that year.


Contains two of the ten  poems that appeared in the anthology Poems by Four Authors (1923), ‘Ghosts’ and ‘The Conjuror on Hammersmith Bridge’,  along with three later poems: ‘Micheldever’, first published in Horizon in August 1940, and ‘After the blitz, 1941’ and ‘Missing’, both of which also date from the war years. Published by Ian McKelvie in 1972 in an edition limited to 350 copies, it includes an Introduction by Francis King.


‘A portrait of Ackerley that is worthy of his wonderful books’ Christopher Isherwood

‘An edition which is in every way worthy of Ackerley himself, and, given his own high standard of taste and scholarship, one could not pay it a higher compliment.’ Goronwy Rees


The diaries Ackerley wrote between 1948 and 1957, chiefly concerned with his troubled relationship with his sister Nancy, but also containing sketches of many literary figures and an extended account of visiting Siegfried Sassoon in Wiltshire.

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