"Marcel Proust, once so social, is nowadays very picky about going out, preferring to stay in his bedroom"
I am a big fan of both Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales and was delighted to listen to their Sydney Writer's Festival chat Our Reading Year. Delighted because it lead me to this intriguing book and also because those two are just so entertaining - I'd love to have them around for an afternoon of discussion and cake ( sadly, gluten free in my case - but pavlova falls in that category so not all is lost).
Back to the book in question. This is a particularly entertaining and intriguing rendered account of some of history's stranger encounters. Consisting of 101 tales of encounters between famous historical figures, each figure then features in the next chapter such as Eli Wallach encountering Frank Sinatra, and then Frank Sinatra meeting Dominic Dunne in the next chapter. Each snippet is detailed in 101 words, with 101 meetings and the entire word count coming in at 1001 words - certainly an impressive feat.
The notion that truth is often stranger than fiction is certainly played out in this collection of stories, all elegantly foot noted with even more intriguing snippets of information. Who wouldn't want to enjoy the interactions of Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean or Harry Houdini and Theodore Roosevelt? This is the kind of fare that can serve as a real lifesaver on the dinner party conversation front, it is expertly executed and entertaining to boot. As Molly Meldrum would say "do yourself a favour" and check it out.
4 out of 5 because not all meetings are winners