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

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