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19 June 1986
A North Sea Journey 
by A. Alvarez.
Hodder, 191 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 340 37347 4
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... Readers of the old Eagle may remember that educative comic’s colourful centre-spread, where every week the latest triumphs of British technology (this was the new Elizabethan age) would be dissected for the enlightenment of British boyhood (girls read the Girl ...

First Chapters

Ursula Creagh

3 June 1982
Life after Marriage: Scenes from Divorce 
by A. Alvarez.
Macmillan, 268 pp., £8.95, June 1982, 0 333 24161 4
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... In the first chapter of this book, a chapter which concerns the time of our marriage, Alvarez has cast me in a variety of roles, from Jungle Jane to Giant Sloth ...

What’s this?

Ian Sansom: A. Alvarez

24 August 2000
Where Did It All Go Right? 
by A. Alvarez.
Richard Cohen, 344 pp., £20, September 1999, 1 86066 173 4
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... Every critic,’ H.L. Mencken wrote in his notebooks, is in the position, so to speak, of God ... He can smite without being smitten. He challenges other men’s work, and is exposed to no compar able challenge of his own ...
3 July 1997
T. Rex and the Crater of Doom 
by Walter Alvarez.
Princeton, 236 pp., £18.95, May 1997, 0 691 01630 5
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... After the origins of humanity, the question people most like to ask about the distant past is: what killed the dinosaurs? By the end of the Cretaceous Period, 65 million years ago, they had all gone ...

What lives and what dies?

Francis Gooding: The End-Cretaceous Event

3 January 2019
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: The Untold Story of a Lost World 
by Steve Brusatte.
Macmillan, 404 pp., £20, May 2018, 978 1 5098 3006 0
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... It wasa bad time to be alive,’ Steve Brusatte tells us. A comet or asteroid about six miles across had just collided with the Earth, in the area we know as the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico ...

Their Witness

Donald Davie

27 February 1992
The Poetry of SurvivalPost-War Poets of Central and Eastern Europe 
edited by Daniel Weissbort.
Anvil, 384 pp., £19.95, January 1992, 0 85646 187 3
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... What we are given in The Poetry of Survival is, translated by numerous hands, poems by 28 poets: identified as Germans (7), Czechs (2), Yugoslavs (2), Slovene and Austrian and Romanian (1 each), Israelis (surprisingly 3) and Poles (9 ...
30 December 1982
The Penguin Book of Contemporary British Poetry 
edited by Blake Morrisonand Andrew Motion.
Penguin, 208 pp., £1.95, October 1982, 0 14 042283 8
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The Rattle Bag 
edited by Seamus Heaneyand Ted Hughes.
Faber, 498 pp., £10, October 1982, 0 571 11966 2
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... New’ poetry can mean two things. When Ezra Pound said ‘make it new’ he was willing the advent of Modernism, the birth of a consciousness transformed by the disintegrations and realities of the 20th century ...
7 May 2014
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History 
by Elizabeth Kolbert.
Bloomsbury, 336 pp., £12.99, February 2014, 978 1 4088 5122 7
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... In​ 1739, Captain Charles Le Moyne was marching four hundred French and Indian troops down the Ohio River when he came across a sulphurous marsh where, as Elizabeth Kolbert puts it, ‘hundreds – perhaps thousands – of huge bones poked out of the muck, like spars of a ruined ship ...
24 January 1980
... When Tony Godwin died in 1976 the Times called him ‘the single most influential personality in British publishing since the warand added: ‘in his seven years with Penguin, Tony Godwin brought new life to what was fast becoming a moribund list and in doing so doubled their turnover ...

At the Ponds

Alice Spawls

12 September 2019
... Swimming​ in the wild or nearly wild has grown unrelentingly in popularity over the last ten years, and no one can deny that it feels wonderful: if not at the time, then certainly afterwards ...

In Tegucigalpa

John Perry: The Honduran Coup

6 August 2009
... In the early hours of Sunday, 28 June the residence of Manuel Zelay a, the president of Honduras, was surrounded by tanks ...

Talking with Alfred

Steven Shapin: Mr Loomis’s Obsession

15 April 2004
Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Pal ace of Science that Changed the Course of World War Two 
by Jennet Conant.
Simon and Schuster, 330 pp., £9.99, July 2003, 0 684 87288 9
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... Alfred Lee Loomis was well connected. Some of his most valuable connections flowed from the accident of a fortunate birth ...

On Not Being Sylvia Plath

Colm Tóibín: Thom Gunn on the Move

13 September 2018
Selected Poems 
by Thom Gunn.
Faber, 336 pp., £16.99, July 2017, 978 0 571 32769 0
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... There were two​ anthologies of modern poetry in our house when I was a teenager and they both offered glimpses of the world outside that were more intense, more useful, than anything on television or on albums or in ordinary books ...

Short Cuts

James Francken: The Booker Prize shortlist

2 November 2000
... A flutter on the Booker Prize ought to be a tasty bet. Not this year; the favourites’ odds are short and the serious gambler will wonder if there is enough meat on the bone to justify a punt: Margaret Atwood’s novel The Blind Assassin and Kazuo Ishiguro’s When We Were Orphans (reviewed in the LRB, 5 October and 13 April) are quoted at 2-1 and 5-2 with William Hill ...
7 November 1985
London Reviews 
edited by Nicholas Spice.
Chatto, 222 pp., £5.95, October 1985, 0 7011 2988 3
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The New Review Anthology 
edited by Ian Hamilton.
Heinemann, 320 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 434 31330 0
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Night and Day 
edited by Christopher Hawtree, by Grah am Greene.
Chatto, 277 pp., £12.95, November 1985, 0 07 011296 7
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Lilliput goes to war 
edited by Kaye Webb.
Hutchinson, 288 pp., £10.95, September 1985, 9780091617608
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Penguin New Writing: 1940-1950 
edited by John Lehmannand Roy Fuller.
Penguin, 496 pp., September 1985, 0 14 007484 8
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... With more than eight hundred high-grade items to choose from, London Reviews gets the number down to just 28. But already it is the third such selection from the London Review of Books. Is three neat volumes sitting on a shelf better than hundreds of copies of the mag azine mouldering in a corner? Yes, but not emphatically ...

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