Lines in the Sand

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781474605175

Price: £9.99

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‘By miles the most brilliant journalist of our age’ Lynn Barber
‘A golden writer’ Andrew Marr

A. A. Gill was rightly hailed as one of the greatest journalists of our time. This selection of some of his recent pieces, which he made himself before his untimely death, spans the last five years from all corners of the world. It shows him at his most perceptive, brilliant and funny.

His subjects range from the controversial – fur – to the heartfelt – a fantastic crystallisation of what it means to be European. He tackles life drawing, designs his own tweed, considers boyhood through the prism of the Museum of Childhood, and spends a day at Donald Trump’s university. In his final two articles he wrote with characteristic wit and courage about his cancer diagnosis – ‘the full English – and the limits of the NHS. But more than any other subject, a recurring theme emerges in the overwhelming story of our times: the refugee crisis. In the last few years A. A. Gill wrote with compassion and anger about the refugees’ story, giving us both its human face and its appalling context. The resulting articles are journalism at its finest and fiercest.


As Lines in the Sand, his final collection of journalism - published just a few weeks after his death from cancer, aged 62 - makes clear, Mr Gill's opinions actually held prejudice, piety and pretension to account ... Mr Gill's overriding message throughout these pieces is that experience should be gulped down, pleasure embraced, and conformity shunned ... "There's a basic human need to tell someone what we saw, where we've been," Mr Gill writes, and his dispatches - opinionated, experienced - are told with eloquence and elan, from war zones and home counties camp sites, to, finally, the cancer ward ... Elsewhere, he writes of Lord Snowdon: "His immensely sympathetic eye was often a surprise to people who knew only his waspish tongue." There could be no better epitaph for Mr Gill himself.
Stuart Husband, MR PORTER
Lines in the Sand, a treat for his many fans, gathers the best of Gill's journalism from 2011 to 2016. Ranging from travel reportage to serio-comic appreciations of Savile Row tweed and the delights of condensed milk, the pieces are lit up by the author's trademark literary flourishes and waspish put-downs
I can't think of a writer whose style so exactly replicated their conversation as A. A. Gill. Reading his weekly dispatches was just like being with him in person, which is why so many readers took his death late last year very personally. People - even people who had never met him - felt they'd lost their funniest, most outrageous chum. Opening a paper without an article by him is like going to your store cupboard and finding that there's no chilli or salt: everything is blander without him. Two collections which came out this year, Lines in the Sand and The Best of A A. Gill, showcase him at his finest. Adrian showed incredible courage, wit and generosity of heart during his final weeks. Once my husband, always my friend, he is irreplaceable, on and off the page
Cressida Connolly, THE SPECTATOR </i>Books of the Year<i>
AA Gill was that rare writer, famously able to serve up waspishness and compassion in the same sentence. Both are on full display in Lines in the Sand ... Written with style and ubiquitous wit, this collection of essays is only further proof that Gill's voice will be sorely missed
The late AA Gill was a journalist who you either loved or hated, but was impossible to ignore, and this is an excellent selection of his writing, spanning the wide range of his interests, from food and television to travel and family. Even when facing his own mortality, Gill was uninhibited and brutally honest This collection does him proud
Gill's broadsides, his impatience, his scathing penportraits were, it becomes particularly clear when you read his work en bloc, the byproduct of his desire that we should wriggle free of conformity, embrace pleasure, eat our fill
Alex Clark, GUARDIAN
Thankfully, the late A A Gill was neither diplomatic or sensitive. Collecting together the last five years of Adrian Anthony's many highlights, Lines in the Sand sees him wasp around the world with passion, honesty and glorious, wickedly funny words. He's already much missed
Serene, painfully wise ... glimpses of a loftier truth are the glory of Gill's essays, and they open metaphysical vistas in journalistic junkets or stunts contrived for the sake of a feature article ... His essays - so delicate in their connoisseurship of nature and culture, so tender in their sketches of family, friends and anonymous strangers in refugee camps, so brightly witty and yet so unexpectedly profound - affirm the manifold pleasures of being alive, which is why they enrich the life of anyone who reads them, and in Gill's absence will go on doing so
Peter Conrad, OBSERVER