The book, 49,000 words of it, was written on his laptop in the last five weeks of his life, in pain and discomfort, an extraordinary feat. It is partly an account of the progress of the cancer and of the care, kindness and love he received from doctors, nurses, auxiliaries and cleaners, a tribute to the NHS; partly reminiscences, thoughts on Scottish culture and life, and unavoidably reflections on death. Here, quoting Boswell’s description of his visit to the dying David Hume – which he admires as a fine journalistic scoop – he agrees with the philosopher: no life after death, and no reason to be disturbed by the thought.
An Elephant in Rome
" January 1, 2021 Read this issue IN THIS REVIEW AN ELEPHANT IN ROME Bernini, the Pope and the making of the Eternal City 224pp. Pallas Athene. £19.99. Loyd Grossman Acheerful bricolage of biography, art history, trivia and travelogue..."
— Times Literary Supplement