Here’s a potential book jacket quote that is both thrilling and bittersweet: “Chock full of laugh-out-loud moments about a world that no modern journalist staring at a computer screen could possibly recognize.”
It comes from today’s review in The Guardian by Roy Greenslade of The Happy Hack, a new memoir about the glory days of Fleet Street written by Mike Molloy. The author, after ascending to the position of editor of the Daily Mirror at age 34 and being promoted to the position of group editor in chief ten years later, left the newspaper in 1990.
From Greenslade’s piece:
There was a feature writer who hadn’t written an article in five years. “Six years later,” Molloy writes, “we gave him a farewell dinner at the Ritz – and he still hadn’t written anything.”
For good measure, the chief of the Mirror’s bureau in New York, who had lived in the States for 20 years, “was proud of the fact that he hardly ever spoke to Americans.”
Ha ha. Molloy, now 75, briefly worked as deputy editor of Punch magazine in the mid-1990s, but has focused mostly on books, starting with a series of children’s fantasy novels. The Mirror, meanwhile, is today following an output pace that greatly outstrips the one of that feature writer mentioned above.
Jacket cover courtesy: John Blake Publishing Ltd.