Is it fact, is it fiction? Actually, it’s a fascinating hybrid with more of a leaning to the latter. The book attracts some unexpected followers. Nabokov, not an author one would immediately associate with Harold Nicolson, once confessed with a certain anguish that he had been fighting against its influence all his life.
‘The style of the book is like a drug,’ he admitted to Harold Nicolson’s son, Nigel.
If you want a less contorted recommendation I urge you to read this piece by Stacy Schiff. Stacy is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who has written biographies of Saint-Exupery and Vera (Mrs Vladimir Nabokov) and will be much in the news this autumn when her new biography of Cleopatra is published. She is also a long-term devotee of Some People:
‘I go back to the book regularly, to be humbled, educated and amused … The sly wit and crystalline prose never disappoint.’ more