AS literary editor of this newspaper, I get to read and assess an inordinate amount of memoir and autobiography. Indeed, I remain astonished at the number – and sometimes the standing – of those who believe the world can’t wait to read their story.

In my reading I've ascertained that there are three essential elements to a good memoir. Firstly, the reader must be able to walk in the subject’s shoes and inhabit their world. It must also have a fair scattering of interesting – the more gasp-inducing the better – personal anecdotes and revelations. And finally, perhaps most crucially, it should reveal something universal about life itself. Good memoirs have one or two of these attributes; great memoirs possess them all.

How many – if any – will David Cameron’s hotly-anticipated book contain, I wonder? The former prime minister’s memoir, For The Record, is due out in 10 days’ time, which means by rights I should already be able to answer that question. It is normal protocol for editors and reviewers to be sent copies weeks, sometimes months, in advance, but this book is apparently so hot it will stay under lock and key until the release date of September 19.

Does this mean Mr Cameron is about to spill the beans on Boris Johnson? Does he have something up his sleeve that could bring down his old Eton, Oxford and Bullingdon Club chum? Are we to take it the revelations contained in this book are so explosive they will cause another major tremor in what has been a summer of political earthquakes?

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I fear those of hoping for such an outcome will be let down. After all, with Mr Cameron reportedly paid £800,000 in advance for the book – there’s also a TV series in the offing – it’s more likely his publishers are simply ensuring they get plenty of bang for their buck. Indeed, if there was anyone left who believed Mr Cameron had been laying low over the last three years because he feels ashamed about the misery and chaos he has inflicted upon the rest of us by holding the EU referendum, the penny must surely have dropped that he is under contract to keep schtum.

By rights, of course, this is a man who should, even if only in print, fall on his knees and beg forgiveness from us all. So arrogant and wrong-headed was his decision-making that we now sit on the precipice of a no-deal Brexit that has the potential to cause economic, political and social misery. Not that wealthy, privileged, cosseted Mr Cameron and his family will suffer its effects, of course, just as he clearly didn’t feel any sympathy or responsibility towards the families and communities he and his government plunged into austerity from 2010 onwards.

Even if no-deal can be avoided, the damaging divisions Mr Cameron's referendum created and fed upon will last for generations. To say he changed his country for the worse is an understatement. As for the apology he owes the people of Libya, that’s another can of worms.

And if the memoirs of his predecessors are anything to go by, rather than apology and candour, Mr Cameron’s tome will be filled with dull procedure, maddening attempts to deflect blame and crass legacy-making.

As for the standard of writing, it will be interesting to see if he has more talent than some of the previous inhabitants of Number 10. Even that great verbal communicator Tony Blair revealed himself to be a terrible writer; his 2010 book overflowed with cliché and wince-inducing pop psychology. Weren’t there also some really bad sex scenes? Crucially, he refused to confront Iraq.

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Gordon Brown’s memoir – with its ghastly title My Life, Our Times – was criminally dull, as was John Major’s, which I remember reading on my sickbed in the early Noughties after picking it up in an actual bargain bin for 50p. I only read two volumes of Mrs Thatcher’s autobiography and can attest that despite the grand delusion, at least they weren’t boring.

For a truly skilled and revelatory take on the political world, we must turn to those who surround the powerful. All three volumes of Alastair Campbell’s diaries make for scintillating reading, as do those of the late Tory MP Alan Clark. Neither Campbell nor Clark emerge as likeable people, yet both are talented writers who exude wit, humour and honesty in spades. Their books embed readers in their heads, shock us, and in different ways, tell us about the nature of power.

Mr Cameron’s publishers claim he will “talk candidly”, though it’s hard to imagine this former PR man, who, in common with his pal Mr Johnson has never seemed burdened by self-doubt, will feel the need or inclination to explain himself to the likes of us. Sorry Dave – I fear the giant bargain bin in the ether awaits.