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The Last Diaries
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Like Ruth Picardie's Before I Say Goodbye and John Diamond's C, this is the story of a personal battle with illness but also a very poignant love story, which is reflected in the new cover image National advertising, reviews and feature articles guarantee bestseller status BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week Into Politics and In Power have sold over 300,000 copies and topped the bestseller charts for months 'Alan Clark was a dazzling diarist. He writes, self-pityingly, "I suppose I will be remembered for the Diaries." He will, and for this one most of all. A grand love story eclipses a political career' Sarah Sands, Daily Telegraph 'The Pepys of our time...a mention in the Alan Clark Diaries is like playing Russian roulette with posterity ...More than anything else, in the end The Last Diaries is a love story. And like its theme it will endure' Graham Stewart, The Spectator 'Pure pleasure' Sue Townsend, Books of the Year (Mail on Sunday)

About the Author

Alan Clark, educated at Eton and Oxford, read for the Bar but did not practise. Tory MP for Plymouth Sutton 1972-1992; Kensington and Chelsea, 1997-99. Various junior ministerial appointments in the Margaret Thatcher and John Major governments of the 1980s. Best-known for his Diaries (three vols) which The Times placed in the Samuel Pepys class. They were filmed by teh BBC with John Hurt as Clark and Jenny Agutter as Jane Clark. Alan Clark died in 1999. Ion Trewin is a London publisher. Originally a journalist, he was Literary Editor of The Times 1972-79. He was Alan Clark's editor and publisher for the original 'Diaries' and following his death edited two further volumes of the celebrated diaries. Married with a son and daughter, he has since 2006 been literary director of the Man Booker prizes. He was chairman of the Cheltenham Literature Festival 1996-2007.

Reviews

The skill in the diaries and memoirs of most politicians lies in the delicate airbrushing out of their faults and weaknesses. Alan Clark's self-portrait, on the other hand, is defiantly warts-and-all ... His three volumes of diaries will ensure his immortality -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday *
Ever present in this volume is his preoccupation with the illness that finally claimed him. It is more sombre, infinitely more foreboding than his other work ... The last entries, by Jane recording Alan's final days, are hugely moving ... This is simply the best book I have read since - well, since the last Clark oeuvre -- Steven Norris * The Times *
A rare record of what it is like to be dying by a master of the English language -- Bevis Hillier * Spectator (Books of the Year) *
This volume of Clark is better on small details of an indulged life, of Eccles cakes and stilton, the vanity of his timed runs up flights of stairs, his befriending of jackdaws whose pellets he takes abroad for good luck -- Quentin Letts * Daily Mail *
The last diaries are a muted version of the others, full of stengun judgments, scorn, candour and opinion - also ambition recollected in imperfect tranquility -- Edward Pearce * Tribune Magazine *
Alan Clark's relationship with God in these diaries is both funny and moving ... These diaries do not stalk the corridors of power. There is very little high-level gossip, but some of our favourite characters from the early diaries make appearances ... As his hypochondria gives way to real sickness, his moral gambling to terror, his selfish and equivocal attitude towards his wife to absolute love and gratitude, the diaries assume an immense sadness and profundity ... Alan Clark was not a good man, but he was a dazzling diarist. He writes, self-pityingly: "I suppose I will be remembered for the Diaries." He will, and for this one most of all. A grand love story eclipses a political career -- Sarah Sands * Daily Telegraph *
A long way from the acerbic knockabout looked for by Clark's admirers ... The latter part of the book is darkened by the diarist's recognition that [those] frissons of demise are no illusion: he has brain cancer ... the journal of a disappointed man becomes that of a mind at the end of its tether. At the same time the heartless, even caddish, candour gives way to long impassioned avowals of devotion to a sorely tried wife. When he finally abandons his pen, Jane Clark adds her own brief log, in which reciprocated devotion sits uneasily with sick-room grue. "I love God," she writes, "but this is such a cruel way to demolish such a brilliant brain" -- E.S. Turner * TLS *
Pure pleasure ... there ought to be a constant supply of Alan Clarks -- Sue Townsend * Mail on Sunday (Books of the Year) *
The Pepys of our time ... More than anything else The Last Diaries is a love story. And like its theme it will endure -- Graham Stewart * Spectator *

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