Pick of the paperbacks in the Telegraph

Michael Billington’s theatre, Carlos Fuentes Happy Families, Nelson’s Navy and why being a postman isn’t what it used to be


By Anna Richards, Brian MacArthur, Toby Clements and Simon Baker
Published: 11:27AM GMT 15 Dec 2009


Dear Granny Smith by Roy Mayall

Short, £4.99

If you want to understand why postmen go on strike, read this book. Granny Smith is the old lady who lives alone, for whom the postman is a lifeline but who, apparently, doesn’t matter any more. Roy Mayall (a punning pseudonym) is a postman of the old school before the corporate modernisers started applying the techniques of business administration to wrecking the Royal Mail. There is lyricism here – “the lovely, soft, golden light of the early morning” when he sets out – but also a howl of rage as he describes what modernisation means for postmen on the beat. They now spend most of their time on deliveries that will instantly be thrown in the dustbin.

Brian MacArthur

4 thoughts on “Pick of the paperbacks in the Telegraph

Add yours

  1. Surely there is a misprint there ?

    A book this good on its first outing must surely be costing FOURTEEN Ninety-nine, no ?

    If it is less than a fiver it would surely be the ‘Sale of the Century’, as Nicholas Parsons might once have said !

    [ah, you see it is me getting ‘nostalgic’ or not – as the case may be….]

  2. Hi Roy
    As a postman of 20 years service,thanks for putting over a compelling case for the public service aspect of our work,it’s only through blogs like this that we can speak up against the Neo Lib crazies that seem determined to take us back to the 20’s-30’s in terms and conditions,and return us to a serfdom that many os us have only read about in books or heard about from our grandparents,given that our union dont seem to be able to communicate with it’s members,your series in the Guardian helped immensely in putting over our case,well done to you and Johhniestewpot,keep up the good work.

  3. No misprint FA. £4.99. It’s only a little book, but it packs a big punch.

    Glad you approve Brian. I’m writing for us posties and for everyone who sees a role for public service in this world, as opposed to the greedy people who only want to claim everything for themselves. I’ll check out Johnniestewpot later.

  4. Thanks to Radio 4 for choosing ‘Dear Granny Smith’ for its book of the week.

    I bought 3 copies at Blackwell’s Bookshop in Bristol as presents & will give a copy to the local CWU shop steward.

    Julie Boston

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