David Hughes was a novelist who was reduced to tears by Souvenir, the film of his book The Pork Butcher. They were not tears of joy: ‘That was terrible, terrible,’ he said on leaving the cinema.
Hughes, who died in 2005, was a newspaper film and theatre critic as well as a novelist – although Kingsley Amis questioned his right to the latter title because Hughes didn’t publish a book a year. Nevertheless, he was the author of 11 novels, several screenplays written with his first wife, the Swedish actress Mai Zetterling, and works of non-fiction, including a memoir of his friend Gerald Durrell. Hughes was an elegant writer with range, his most whimsical book, But for Bunter, reimagined the overeating schoolboy as a central figure in 20th-century history.