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Many Andies

Andrew O’Hagan

16 October 1997
Shoes, Shoes, Shoes 
by Andy Warhol.
Bulfinch Press, 35 pp., $10.95, May 1997, 0 8212 2319 4
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Style, Style, Style 
by Andy Warhol.
Bulfinch Press, 30 pp., $10.95, May 1997, 0 8212 2320 8
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Who is Andy Warhol? 
edited by Colin MacCabe, Mark Francis and Peter Wollen.
BFI, 162 pp., £40, May 1997, 9780851705880
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All Tomorrow’s Parties: Billy Name’s Photographs of Andy Warhol’s Factory 
by Billy Name.
frieze, 144 pp., £19.95, April 1997, 0 9527414 1 5
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The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco and the Culture of the Night 
by Anthony Haden-Guest.
Morrow, 404 pp., $25, April 1996, 9780688141516
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... his passiveness into becoming freaky’. People were attracted to The Factory – dopey socialites, beautiful kids, energetic misfits, hip weirdos, and the conventionally famous – by Warhol’s name, and by his odd ability to create a scene which seemed both open and closed at the same time. A salon of reprobates, it was vaguely countercultural, full of drugs and hurt and paranoia, but still it ...

We’re not Jews

Hanif Kureishi

23 March 1995
... led him to the front of the lower deck, sat him down with his satchel, hurried back to the bus stop to retrieve her shopping, and took her place beside him. As the bus pulled away Azhar spotted Big Billy and his son Little Billy racing alongside, yelling and waving at the driver. Azhar closed his eyes and hoped it was moving too rapidly for them to get on. But they not only flung themselves onto the ...

Andy Paperbag

Hal Foster: Andy Warhol

21 March 2002
Andy Warhol 
by Wayne Koestenbaum.
Weidenfeld, 196 pp., £12.99, November 2001, 0 297 64630 3
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... Trained at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon), Warhol moved from Pittsburgh to New York in 1949, and shed his ethnic identity then, too, dropping the final ‘a’ from his name. He fared well as a commercial illustrator, with adverts done for Harper’s Bazaar, Seventeen, the New Yorker and Vogue, displays for Bergdorf Goodman, Bonwit Teller, I. Miller and Tiffany & Co., as ...
28 September 1989
The Vision of Elena Silves 
by Nicholas Shakespeare.
Collins, 263 pp., £11.95, September 1989, 0 00 271031 5
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Billy​ Bathgate 
by E.L. Doctorow.
Macmillan, £11.95, September 1989, 0 333 51376 2
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Buffalo Afternoon 
by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer.
Hamish Hamilton, 535 pp., £12.95, August 1989, 0 241 12634 7
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The Message to the Planet 
by Iris Murdoch.
Chatto, 563 pp., £13.95, October 1989, 0 7011 3479 8
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... of adolescence with the adult disciplines of Modernist fiction. Names are made to carry important meaning in Doctorow’s narratives; in Loon Lake the vagrant hero was given Joseph Conrad’s Polish name; in the more autobiographical World’s Fair the author’s own name was used. Here the hero-narrator is called Billy Bathgate. The allusion is not to the unlovely Scottish mining town but to ...

Where the hell?

Michael Wood

6 October 1994
The Crossing 
by Cormac McCarthy.
Picador, 426 pp., £14.99, August 1994, 9780330334624
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... boys who travel south for experiences which age them beyond anyone’s years; horses stolen and recovered and lost again. Both are about nameless forces in the world, and about the folly of trying to name them. Both books start in an old North America, the Texas and New Mexico of the Forties, places where men who live on horseback meet men in rickety trucks on new blacktop roads; and both books take ...

You, Him, Whoever

Philip Connors: Anthony Giardina’s new novel

7 September 2006
White Guys 
by Anthony Giardina.
Heinemann, 371 pp., £11.99, August 2006, 0 434 01605 5
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... better than he does. They become big-shot retail developers, corporate headhunters, district attorneys. Their names suggest American middle-class innocence: Kenny, Johnny, Freddie. Only one of them, Billy Mogavero, is left behind. Billy went to jail for assaulting a cop, and now he is stuck in Winship, working as a clerk in a paint store. The lever of the plot tips when, years having passed, the group ...

‘Double y’im dees’

Christopher Tayler: Ben Fountain

2 August 2012
Billy​ Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk 
by Ben Fountain.
Canongate, 307 pp., £16.99, July 2012, 978 0 85786 438 3
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... piece two years later wasn’t the last of his professional tribulations. Soon after the article was published his editor talked him into jettisoning a novel he’d worked on for six years. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, his first published novel, is the third he’s written. Fountain seems resigned to being seen as the slowest pen in the South so long as it’s understood that he isn’t ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Only God Forgives’

29 August 2013
Only God Forgives 
directed by Nicolas Winding Refn.
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... and moviegoers, is one of perfect, scary control, ensured by infallible, extreme penalties. This is the territory that our hero enters in James Sallis’s novel Drive and the movie of the same name directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. The man thinks he can stay on the margins of crime, just drive the getaway car and not take any further part in the heists or the larger profits. It’s a living ...

Men at Sea

Robert Taubman

6 November 1980
Rites of Passage 
by William Golding.
Faber, 278 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 571 11639 6
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... there are mysteries addressed directly to the reader: mysteries not meant to be solved. The reader may well find allegory of this kind a bit of a disappointment. Talbot, for instance, alludes to the name of the ship while never actually revealing it: ‘I looked over her monstrous figurehead, emblem of her name and which our people as is their custom have turned colloquially into an obscenity with ...
31 October 2002
Sweet Sixteen 
directed by Ken Loach.
October 2002
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The Cinema of Ken Loach: Art in the Service of the People 
by Jacob Leigh.
Wallflower, 192 pp., £13.99, May 2002, 1 903364 31 0
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... has just happened.’ A performer working with Loach would do well not to ask any questions about motivation. On Carla’s Song, he gave the actor Robert Carlyle a run-down of his character. ‘Your name’s George and you drive a bus. Maybe it would be a good idea if you learned to drive a bus.’ Had Loach stuck with theatre directing – an early pursuit – he would by now be bringing his plays ...

Composite Person

Alex Clark: Pat Barker

24 May 2001
Border Crossing 
by Pat Barker.
Viking, 216 pp., £16.99, April 2001, 0 670 87841 3
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... charges. The most famous of them is Siegfried Sassoon, who was sent to a psychiatric hospital after he issued a public declaration against the continuation of the war. But much more striking is Billy Prior, who advances stealthily through the trilogy, beginning as a mute casualty and ending as its central and most articulate character. His sexuality ambiguous, his attitude towards the authority ...

Still Reeling from My Loss

Andrew O’Hagan: Lulu & Co

2 January 2003
I Don't Want to Fight 
by Lulu.
Time Warner, 326 pp., £17.99, October 2002, 0 316 86169 3
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by Pamela Stephenson.
HarperCollins, 400 pp., £6.99, July 2002, 0 00 711092 8
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Just for the Record 
by Geri Halliwell.
Ebury, 221 pp., £17.99, September 2002, 0 09 188655 4
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Learning to Fly 
by Victoria Beckham.
Penguin, 528 pp., £6.99, July 2002, 0 14 100394 4
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Right from the Start 
by Gareth Gates.
Virgin, 80 pp., £9.99, September 2002, 1 85227 914 1
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by Ulrika Jonsson.
Sidgwick, 417 pp., £16.99, October 2002, 0 283 07367 5
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... chat shows and movies produced by Miramax. Pain is one of the new pleasures, abuse is the new nurturing. A hummable, weepable, narcissistic self-pity, hitherto only available in the speeches of Billy Graham and the recording work of Tammy Wynette, has, over the last few years, taken Britain by storm, and it is nowhere more evident than in the new style of celebrity autobiography. Many modern ...


Michael Rogin

5 September 1996
Imagineering Atlanta 
by Charles Rutheiser.
Verso, 324 pp., £44.95, July 1996, 1 85984 800 1
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... Centennial Park. Although international corporations had built the park to call attention to themselves, ‘sponsor footprints’ like the AT&T tower ‘were not just advertisements’, explained Billy Payne, chairman of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games: they showcased ‘state-of-the-art technology’ that ‘people will be seeing for the first time’. The Coca-Cola Corporation built ...

Strong Meat

John Lanchester

11 January 1990
The Bellarosa Connection 
by Saul Bellow.
Secker, 102 pp., £11.95, January 1990, 0 436 19988 2
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The War Zone 
by Alexander Stuart.
Hamish Hamilton, 207 pp., £11.95, March 1989, 0 241 12342 9
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A Touch of Love 
by Jonathan Coe.
Duckworth, 156 pp., £9.95, April 1989, 0 7156 2277 3
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Do it again 
by Martyn Harris.
Viking, 220 pp., £11.95, October 1989, 0 670 82858 0
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... four main characters in The Bellarosa Connection, is a now-prosperous American-Jewish businessman who was saved from a Fascist prison and smuggled to America by Mafia types acting at the behest of Billy Rose, the famous Jewish showbiz figure (‘Damon Runyon’s pal’) whom he had never met. This is Harry: Fonstein’s type was edel – well-bred – but he also was a tough Jew. Sometimes his look ...

Hit the circuit

Theo Tait: Michael Ondaatje

20 July 2000
Anil's Ghost 
by Michael Ondaatje.
Bloomsbury, 311 pp., £16.99, May 2000, 9780747548652
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... unearthed the victim of a traceable and symbolically important crime. Solving it could point the finger at the Government: ‘Who was he? This representative of all those lost voices. To give him a name would name the rest.’ The method is familiar from Ondaatje’s earlier work. Though the story of Anil and Sailor could be the basis for a detective story or political thriller, he’s more ...

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