Spectator Books: why runners up are more interesting than those who come first

Dec 12, 2018, 12:06 PM

In this week’s books podcast Sam Leith talks to the great trivia expert Mark Mason about his new The Book of Seconds: The Incredible Stories of the Ones Who Didn’t (Quite) Win. Here’s the Christmas present for all the Tory frontbenchers in your life. Who remembers the Christmas number two in the pop charts? Who got silver at the Olympics? Who was the second man to walk on the moon? Mark — my second choice of guest for this week’s podcast — masterfully pulls together the psychological and social implications of not quite cutting the mustard.