The Old Gang (Signed copy)
Signed by Simon Raven, and others... a sporting and military memoir
First edition, first printing hardback in dustwrapper. 22.5 × 14.5cm, 226pp.
Signed directly to the title page by Simon Raven, dated July 1988. Also signed by Peter Budden and his nephew James who feature in the book.
Gathering at various racecourses and hostelries round the country, 'Captain' Raven and friends tell each other stories drawn from their respectively disreputable pasts. Along with the author himself, there's JBB (John Basil Budden) and son James, as complementary a pair of gamblers and ribald-storytellers as any; Beatty Belhampton, who seems to have murdered her second husband; Lucrezia Lippit, whose venomous behaviour at a game of Trivial Pursuit is matched only by the lewdness of the bet she lays on her certain victory; and Milesy Malbruges, who blackmails a bookie so mercilessly that even JBB starts to wonder about the morality of lucre.
Enter Colonel O. Parafit Paradore, master storyteller, prankster, and latterly keep-fit fanatic. One minute he can be found driving the hapless young Raven round an assault course simply to curry favour with the General, the next orating on the lessons to be learnt about sportsmanship from the Greek poet Pindar. Indefatigable, a true soldier and forever attending to by his faithful retainer, Colour-Serjeant Lazarus Risen Plumb, he has many great moments, one concerning the most obscene piece of Swahili known to the British Army...
The book is in good plus condition, with some tanning to the pages. The dustwrapper has a few small watermarks to the top edge but has not been price-clipped and is now within a protective sleeve.