Panic as Man Burns Crumpets gives a powerful, if not to say dismaying, overview of an industry in terminal decline.
Local publishers . . . need to hold on to thoughtful, dedicated writers such as Roger Lytollis, or his book will be an epitaph to a centuries-old industry.
Brisk and entertaining. A very readable love letter to a disappearing world, told with verve and tenderness.
Many books written by journalists have come across my desk over the course of my time as publisher of Hold the Front Page, but I would say without any hesitation that this one is the best. Not only is it the funniest, and the best-written, it is also the most honest in terms of what it reveals about its author, and more importantly about our craft.
A love letter to the trade, though written with a touch of the poison pen.
The best book I've read this year, by some margin. Brilliantly written, frequently laugh-out-loud funny, but also reflective, candid, poignant and passionate about the importance of journalism. Superb.
Very funny, very witty, very moving . . . packed with incidents, insights and a real feeling for provincial life at its best . . . For those who know about provincial newspapers, this will be a classic and a gem. Those who don't know will envy what they have missed . . . It really is a terrific piece of work.
Local journalism has never seemed more exotic than in this part-memoir, part-ode to that disappearing art, which is as funny as it is endearing . . . Told with a tender fondness, the bonkers, baffling but vital world of local press is paraded with the style that it deserves.
This was the only book I read in one sitting this year and if you're lucky enough to get your hands on a copy, you'll soon understand why. It's gut-bustingly funny, poignant and packed with astonishing insider information.
For anyone wondering where their local press went, this is as clear an account of how it was pickpocketed, drained of blood, and left to die as you'll find.
[Lytollis] writes with clarity, comically self-effacing honesty and surprising poignancy . . . But this book is not really about him. It is simply the story of what it is like to love what you do, and be great at it, and to watch it collapse around you in slow motion. It is about the regressive form of 'progress' that the news industry has been subjected to for the last 25 years, and what it does to the people who are part of that system and the communities that can no longer rely on it.
Refreshingly honest, engagingly self-deprecating, tremendously funny and more than a little heartbreaking. By far my favourite read of the year so far.
Anyone who has ever worked at a local newspaper, or wondered what it is like, should read this book. Equally hilarious and heartbreaking.