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How can we live with it?

Thomas Jones: How to Survive Climate Change, 23 May 2013

The Carbon Crunch: How We’re Getting Climate Change Wrong – and How to Fix It 
by Dieter Helm.
Yale, 273 pp., £20, September 2012, 978 0 300 18659 8
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Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering 
by Clive Hamilton.
Yale, 247 pp., £20, February 2013, 978 0 300 18667 3
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The City and the Coming Climate: Climate Change in the Places We Live 
by Brian Stone.
Cambridge, 187 pp., £19.99, July 2012, 978 1 107 60258 8
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... other, a former head of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (as paraphrased by Brian Stone): ‘Only Newton’s laws of motion may enjoy a wider scientific consensus than a human-enhanced greenhouse effect.’ There isn’t consensus, however, either scientific or political, about the best ways to respond to the problem; in part ...

Badoompa-doompa-doompa-doom

Graham Coster, 10 January 1991

Stone Alone 
by Bill Wyman and Ray Coleman.
Viking, 594 pp., £15.99, October 1990, 0 670 82894 7
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Blown away: The Rolling Stones and the Death of the Sixties 
by A.E. Hotchner.
Simon and Schuster, 377 pp., £15.95, October 1990, 0 671 69316 6
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Are you experienced? The Inside Story of the Jimi Hendrix Experience 
by Noel Redding and Carol Appleby.
Fourth Estate, 256 pp., £14.99, September 1990, 1 872180 36 1
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I was a teenage Sex Pistol 
by Glen Matlock and Pete Silverton.
Omnibus, 192 pp., £12.95, September 1990, 0 7119 2491 0
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Bare 
by George Michael and Tony Parsons.
Joseph, 242 pp., £12.99, September 1990, 0 7181 3435 4
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... is the drummer who is most important. ‘No group is any better than its drummer,’ the Rolling Stones’ late piano player Ian Stewart tells A.E. Hotchner. ‘Drummers are the heart of a group,’ confirms Noel Redding of the Jimi Hendrix Experience: ‘a good one is worth his weight in gold.’ And here is the Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock on drummer Paul ...

English Fame and Irish Writers

Brian Moore, 20 November 1980

Selected Poems 1956-1975 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 136 pp., £3.95, October 1980, 0 571 11644 2
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Preoccupations: Selected Prose 1968-1978 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 224 pp., £7.95, October 1980, 0 571 11638 8
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... of prose pieces: I would begin with the Greek word omphalos, meaning the navel, and hence the stone that marked the centre of the world, and repeat it. omphalos, omphalos, omphalos, until its blunt and falling music becomes the music of somebody pumping water outside our back door. It is Co. Derry in the early 1940s. The American bombers groan towards the ...

At the Towner Gallery

Brian Dillon: Carey Young, Palais de Justice, 4 April 2019

... in Rome, covering an area of 26,000 square metres, with reputedly the largest accumulation of stone blocks in Europe. Its architect, Joseph Poelaert, inspired by John Martin’s scenes of apocalyptic ruin, had been fantasising about such a structure for years before he won the commission to design the new Palais in 1861. Time passed, costs swelled from ...

At the Royal Academy

Brian Dillon: Ai Weiwei, 7 October 2015

... in the middle, a consequence in part of having a room devoted to works executed in white marble. Stone from the Dashiwo quarry, in which the artist has lately acquired a financial interest, was used to build the Forbidden City in the 15th century and, in the 1970s, Mao’s mausoleum. Ai’s installation Cao (2014) is a field of marble grass, containing a ...

Never Mainline

Jenny Diski: Keith Richards, 16 December 2010

Life 
by Keith Richards, with James Fox.
Weidenfeld, 564 pp., £20, October 2010, 978 0 297 85439 5
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... will remind me that I’ve never really wanted to live the life of anyone else, not even a Rolling Stone. Or especially. I haven’t bought a Stones album since Sticky Fingers in 1971 and haven’t deliberately listened to anything they recorded after Exile on Main Street a year later. I find Mick Jagger’s dancing ...

Play hard

Dave Haslam, 20 October 1994

The Dark Stuff: Selected Writings on Rock Music 1972-93 
by Nick Kent.
Penguin, 338 pp., £9.99, May 1994, 0 14 023046 7
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... serving us, for instance, Lou Reed stumbling around in New York, the New York Dolls in Paris and Brian Wilson in ‘psychicpain’, as well as Iggy Pop and the Rolling Stones. Chapters on later stars like Morrissey, Guns ’N’ Roses and Happy Mondays lack this vivid authenticity. Looking back, you can see why Kent made ...

Nationalising English

Patrick Parrinder, 28 January 1993

The Great Betrayal: Memoirs of a Life in Education 
by Brian Cox.
Chapmans, 386 pp., £17.99, September 1992, 1 85592 605 9
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... are storming one of the last bastions of progressive education. So runs the latest episode in what Brian Cox terms ‘the great betrayal’: the betrayal of teachers and their pupils over the last thirty years by government interference, false ideologies and starvation of resources. The current cast of this depressing production seems to have wandered off the ...

At the Royal Academy

James Davidson: ‘Bronze’, 11 October 2012

... opposed both to the ‘pitiless bronze’ of ancient weapons and armour, and to the blockish stone sculptures with which they had to share ancient exhibition space, unmalleable marbles that could never imagine kicking back so high and with such abandon, unless the raised leg was supported by a fortuitous tree stump. This same exquisite poise, albeit in ...

In Bloody Orkney

Robert Crawford: George Mackay Brown, 22 February 2007

George Mackay Brown: The Life 
by Maggie Fergusson.
Murray, 363 pp., £25, April 2006, 0 7195 5659 7
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The Collected Poems of George Mackay Brown 
edited by Brian Murray.
Murray, 547 pp., £18.99, October 2006, 0 7195 6884 6
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... poetry and prose collected in many books from the 1950s until his death in 1996. Some of the small stone houses on the long, crooked main street of Stromness are built end-on so that their frontages face the stone piers that lead off the street. Cars are forced almost into shop doorways as they attempt to pass each ...

The Wind Dog

Tom Paulin, 17 October 1996

... me in a carbon childhood by this huge swollen river all along a mill village – soot bracken and stone where Mrs Jubb and Mr Jubb whose leathery right hand had its thumb missing – where they lived in a back to back in a deep warm kitchen with a big kettle like a pet lived by the music of that bulgy river that bulgy bulgy river wider and deeper and slopping ...

Little Brits

Tom Shippey: Murder on Hadrian’s Wall, 19 November 2015

The Real Lives of Roman Britain 
by Guy de la Bédoyère.
Yale, 241 pp., £20, May 2015, 978 0 300 20719 4
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... What​ have the Romans ever done for us?’ John Cleese asks in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. His audience, not realising his question is rhetorical, replies: aqueducts, sanitation, medicine, public order, etc etc. Guy de la Bédoyère, on the other hand, doesn’t need a list: the Romans’ most important legacy, he suggests in his new book, is literacy, and specifically the habit of written memorialisation ...

Bernard Levin: Book Two

Clive James, 6 December 1979

Taking Sides 
by Bernard Levin.
Cape, 281 pp., £6.50, September 1979, 0 330 26203 3
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... not even regular exposure to the Ring cycle can assuage. Confidently predicting, in 1977, that Brian Inglis’s book Natural and Supernatural would be greeted by a chorus of rejection from terrified scientists, Levin never noticed that it was greeted by a chorus of indifference. Fantasising flat out, Levin insists that Science is blindly determined to deny ...

When to Stop Counting

Brian Rotman, 27 November 1997

Fermat’s Last Theorem: Unlocking the Secret of an Ancient Mathematical Problem 
by Amir Aczel.
Viking, 147 pp., £9.99, May 1997, 0 670 87638 0
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... Thus, Mordell’s famous conjecture from the Twenties, whose recent settlement was a stepping-stone to Wiles’s result, hypothesises a connection between the number of holes on a certain surface naturally connected to an equation and the question whether the equation has an infinity of solutions. These are highly technical considerations whose ...

Onion-Pilfering

Brian Dillon: Michael Ondaatje, 13 December 2007

Divisadero 
by Michael Ondaatje.
Bloomsbury, 273 pp., £17.99, September 2007, 978 0 7475 8924 2
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... and his usual awkward register is almost preferable. Almost: ‘this was furious mathematics, a stone in your heart, luck, and the chance of an eventual card – the River – that would glance you towards your fate.’ When Ondaatje is not trying to get terminologically down with his characters, he tends to hover above them, sage and loquacious, ever ready ...

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