Anyone who sticks his head over the parapet far enough to write a grand prix-based novel can expect to get shot at by the press. Fair enough.
While no MOTOR SPORT reader would expect Bill Boddy to read those best-selling authors July Cooper and Edwina Currie, he compares my book Flat Out with theirs — unfavourably. I’m obliged to stand Bill Boddy’s fire like a man, but he looses off both barrels: one at me and the other at Eoin Young, whose sole offence was to praise my novel in his Autocar column.
This is hardly fair and smacks of intolerance of the other fellow’s point of view. May I remind him of Voltaire’s immortal dictum, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”?
I am yours etc,
COLIN DRYDEN, BARBICAN, LONDON
(How can I have compared books I have not read? I have not seen Flat Out, and Mr Dryden exonerates me from enjoying those of Cooper and Currie. I did not criticise Eoin, merely expressed surprise that the only quote he gave was that about the naked lady. If he thought the book worth praise he was right to say so; personally, being a prude, I do not think that sex and swear words need be used in motor-racing novels. I have not forgotten Voltaire, but surely his dictum was directed at freedom of political speech, not sleaze in modem writing? WB)