Bits of Me Are Falling Apart, By William Leith
Sunday 19 July 2009
William Leith was unhappy as a teenager, lived well in his twenties and entered a period of denial in his thirties. At the start of his humorous, refreshingly honest memoir, he is 47 and suffering a midlife crisis. He wakes in his office, which is also his home, as his relationship has broken down. He feels that his body and mind are breaking down, too. He vacillates between despair and "little spiky balls of hope".
He reassesses personal and professional values. Working in LA, the journalist finds himself "prying into the pain of an actress, hoping to find a route to more pain, pain that would be valuable to me". It is his own pain he depicts most effectively, chronicling the loneliness of being a single dad. He is brilliant at depicting his "psychological symptoms" – the sense that his mind isn't working properly; that his thoughts are elusive; that nature has finished with him.
He has a critical detachment from his situation, at one point wondering, for example, if he's becoming like the mad, middle-aged writer in The Shining. Drawing on ideas from physics, culture and literature, Leith probes the mysterious mechanisms which make tiny particles – and people – stick together and fall apart.
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
Poldark, series 1 finale, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 3, review: Sansa and manhood-lopping torturer Ramsay Bolton - really?
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove