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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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... 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 managed to be a place where work got done. The people who ...

We’re not Jews

Hanif Kureishi, 23 March 1995

... 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 platform, they charged ...

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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... 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 well as book jackets, record covers, stationery and the ...

Loafing with the Sissies

Colm Tóibín: The Trials of Andy Warhol, 10 September 2020

Warhol: A Life as Art 
by Blake Gopnik.
Allen Lane, 931 pp., £35, March, 978 0 241 00338 1
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... to be hanging around’. Slowly, life became exciting after dark. One denizen in particular, Billy Name, Gopnik writes, ‘added darkness’ to the social life. Warhol worked with silkscreen prints of flowers ‘at the bright window end of the loft, amid collectors and dealers and other hangers-on from the mainstream’, while ...

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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... 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 their heroes to a Mexico which is even older, a land of ...

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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... 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 pays ...

Shakespeare the Novelist

John Sutherland, 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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... 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 ...

‘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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... 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 a listless procrastinator. Interviewers tend to walk away ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Only God Forgives’, 29 August 2013

Only God Forgives 
directed by Nicolas Winding Refn.
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... 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, just like his day job as a stunt man for the movies. Then one ...

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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... 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 which I will not trouble ...

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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Billy 
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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Honest 
by Ulrika Jonsson.
Sidgwick, 417 pp., £16.99, October 2002, 0 283 07367 5
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... 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 celebrities call everyday people ‘normals’, and it was a ...

Putting the Manifesto before the Movie

Ryan Gilbey: Ken Loach, 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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... 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 to schools, hospital wards, disused factories. His ...

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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... 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 was that of a man holding the lead in the 100-metre ...

Heat in a Mild Climate

James Wood: Baron Britain of Aldeburgh, 19 December 2013

Benjamin Britten: A Life in the 20th Century 
by Paul Kildea.
Allen Lane, 635 pp., £30, January 2013, 978 1 84614 232 1
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Benjamin Britten: A Life for Music 
by Neil Powell.
Hutchinson, 512 pp., £25, January 2013, 978 0 09 193123 0
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... growing up with the music of Benjamin Britten, it was sometimes hard to recall that his last name was not ‘Britain’. The race that Nietzsche had deemed heavy-hoofed and unmusical, whose last truly great composer had been Purcell, a nation that had been doing nothing very much, musically, but warbling in cathedrals for a couple of centuries, had ...

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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... 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 of generals, doctors and civilians by turns contemptuous ...

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