Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Hidden Wyndham by Amy Binns

Welcome to Day 8 of the Blogtour for Amy Binns' Hidden Wyndham.

Somewhere back around 1978 I picked up a version of Day of the Triffids (my mum had been to see the film) from the school library. I was only 11 so I'm guessing it was an abridged version for youngsters (though I could be wrong). The whole first scene with Bill waking up in hospital, after an eye operation, to a totally changed world fascinated me.

Skip forward a few years and a slightly older me is now at comprehensive school, in English class and the book we are given to read is The Chrysalids. Yes, they actually gave us something cool to read!! And I loved it more than Triffids. So much so that I was actively searching libraries for any Wyndham novels I could find.

Now, another skip forward, nigh on 40 years this time, and an email pops up offering me the opportunity to re iew Hidden Wyndham, the story of the man himself. Up until that point I wasn't even aware that I knew so little about one of my literary favourites. Indeed, many people didn't.

In Hidden Wyndham, Life, Love, Letters Amy Binns takes a look at the life of this most reclusive of authors. Binns studied a lot of Wyndham's letters to write this book and these are the backbone of this book. The life of a great writer was often a struggle and this is seen in his words here as he observes the coming of war and lives through it too. Even here though his prose is something above the normal everyday letters home.

Although he is now known as one of the greats of classic Sci-fi the struggle to get his career off the ground makes for rather sad reading, in such a way that I wished I could climb into the pages, put an arm around his shoulders and just say "mate, it's all gonna be good"

So, not the happiest of biographies but certainly one I enjoyed and a real insight into the life of one of the greats.

5/5* Highly Recommended

Thanks, as always, to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the Blogtour, Grace Judson Press for providing the copy and, most importantly I guess, to Amy Binns for doing all the research and writing the book I didn't even realise I needed.

Please, if you get the chance, have a read of the other review posts on the tour.

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