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Can't Hear Yourself Think -bookcover

By: Graham Dalby

Can't Hear Yourself Think

Pages: 208 Ratings: 5.0
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Graham Dalby’s book opens inside Windsor Castle at the ‘Ball of The Century’ in 2000, when he drops so many names it’s hard to keep up. He then takes us through his precariously dangerous childhood from Nigeria, Singapore, and Hong Kong, where he served for a short time as a Police Inspector. The remainder of the book is Dalby’s fast-paced life of Classical Music and Jazz and Swing and is a case-book study on how to manage to quaff Champagne belonging to the rich and famous.

The style is old school Wodehouse/Waugh but the historical interpolations keep the reader in the realms of reality and fact. An incredible story of great anecdotes, laughter, and some tears – but mostly Music, Champagne and Laughter.

Graham Dalby spent his early years in Africa and Singapore and was educated at Dover College. After a short spell of teaching, he was commissioned as inspector into the Royal Hong Kong Police. Returning to England he spent four years studying music at Trinity College of Music. As a singer, composer and conductor he has toured the world and performed at historic events including the Hong Kong Handover and for the British Royal Family, and those of Monaco and Jordon. He is the founder of the London Swing Orchestra with whom he has toured globally, recorded profusely and broadcast widely from Buckingham Palace to Beijing.

Customer Reviews
4 reviews
4 reviews
  • Andrew Wandsworth

    When it comes to reading an autobiography, I think it is an entirely different experience if you know the author personally. I was at Trinity College of Music with Graham Dalby and that was sufficient to ensure that I would read this well-crafted account of his amazingly eventful life, even though it is almost forty years since we last met. Despite nostalgia for our student years, and much that is familiar from that time, I was struck by the sharply drawn portraits of the range of brilliant eccentrics who were our teachers, and the equally brilliant musicians who were our fellow students and friends, Dalby has a keen eye for detail, and a disarming honesty that makes this a highly readable account of a life of many episodes, both before and since the time when we were at college. Dalby rejoices in being an inveterate name-dropper, and his life has been an almost unbroken chain of acquaintance with celebrities, usually, although not only occasioned by his music. While he rightly charts each personal triumph, he does not spare himself an account of his vulnerability, and the sadness, betrayal, and loss that necessarily touches any life - all is presented as part of the rich tapestry of a life passionately lived, and recounted with unfailing humour, and a good dose of self-mockery. You don’t have to know Graham Dalby to enjoy this book - I have already passed it on to a friend who had never heard of him and is already enjoying reading it. Surely that’s what you want in an autobiography, a sense that you know the person by reading their book. If that is what you are looking for, you won’t be disappointed here.

  • Matt SR

    I found Graham Dalby’s book an absolute delight to read, from the first page to the last. Covering his remarkable life so far, from schooldays to the Hong Kong police, then Trinity College of Music to Buckingham Palace and practically everywhere and everyone in between, it’s a fascinating tale, recounted with wit and great charm, although not without moments of sadness and poignancy. One of the most interesting and entertaining books I’ve read in a long time. Highly recommended.

  • Sharron Marie Whiting

    Really enjoyed hearing about Graham Dalby’s life. Entertaining read, beautifully written.

  • N J Ashmore

    This book is an absolute delight and I would highly recommend it. Mr. Dalby has led a what can only be described as a ‘varied’ life and his autobiography provides a wonderful and entertaining insight into his various careers as a colonial police officer, a student of music, and a band leader. It is very easy to read and proved a real page turner for me. If you enjoy the book, please look at his music which I’m sure would delight too. He is a very talented musician and storyteller and is the sort of person who one would wish as a companion on a long rail journey. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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