Granville Jones is at the end of his life – ‘one of the greats of old-time Fleet Street’, once a famous world-roving correspondent, now self-exiled on an island Emirate in the Gulf, an old and forgotten man, long eclipsed by rising stars of television journalism. When the coup breaks it seems that Jones is the last to know.
As this story of the early 1950s unfolds, we learn of the great love affair that brought him to his island. Both that ancient love and the indissoluble bonds between Jones and the deposed Emir are caught up by the old man’s professional demon. We follow Jones, move by move, playing his endgame with the fragments of physical and mental powers still vouchsafed him.
John Gray nominated this book as one of his titles of the year for 2008, saying:
" I found the greatest pleasure this year in new editions of near-forgotten masterpieces. Tom Stacey's The Man Who Knew Everything (is) one of the few books I've ever read that I finished in one sitting, and then immediately had to read again."
I picked it up yesterday evening,’ wrote Nina Bawden of the original edition,‘and stayed reading until I finished, absolutely held. Very good story, just the right length – it’s always difficult to get that right – credible, exciting, sad. I believed in Gran Jones.’
‘Tom Stacey writes from the inside,’ wrote James Runcie in The Daily Telegraph, ‘with a sense of economy… of the great days of Fleet Street.’
‘Written by the former chief foreign correspondent of this newspaper,’ Colin Greenland wrote in the Sunday Times, ‘it is a remarkably engaging portrait.’
‘A wonderful book. I read it and re-read it,' wrote Sybille Bedford.
- Author of Tribe
, The Pandemonium
, Bodies and Souls
(filmed for television with John Hurt), and The Worm in the Rose
. He is the author of seven novels, including the seminal work The Brothers M
, partly set in Ruwenzori. Other works include collections of short stories and two books of remote travel. He is the winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and of the Granada Award as Foreign Correspondent of the Year, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
He is married, has five children and many grandchildren, and lives in Kensington and North Wales.
For more information on Tom Stacey please visit his website.
Sir Peregrine Worsthorne
- Sir Peregrine Worsthorne, a dominant figure in Fleet Street for several decades, was Editor of the Sunday Telegraph
from 1986 to 1991 and is author, most recently, of In Defence of Aristocracy