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Robert and Randy

Carey Harrison, 27 June 1991

Curtain 
by Michael Korda.
Chapmans, 415 pp., £14.95, May 1991, 1 85592 005 0
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... In Michael Korda’s Curtain a thinly disguised Laurence Olivier puts at risk his marriage to a thinly disguised Vivien Leigh by having an affair with (stop me if you’ve heard this one) a no less thinly disguised Danny Kaye. Well! Well? As a piece of writing, the novel is aimed with charming accuracy at the station bookstall trade, where it should thrive ...

Harrison Rex

Carey Harrison, 7 November 1991

Conversations with Marlon Brando 
by Lawrence Grobel.
Bloomsbury, 177 pp., £14.99, September 1991, 9780747508168
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George Sanders: An Exhausted Life 
by Richard Vanderbeets.
Robson, 271 pp., £15.95, September 1991, 0 86051 749 7
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Rex HarrisonA Biography 
by Nicholas Wapshott.
Chatto, 331 pp., £16, October 1991, 0 7011 3764 9
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Me: Stories of my Life 
by Katharine Hepburn.
Viking, 418 pp., £16.99, September 1991, 0 670 83974 4
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... all at once, of course, but slowly and painfully, as these biographies of George Sanders and Rex Harrison confirm, amid binges of mingled self-seeking and self-obliteration. Along the way, idolatry brings out the bully in us all, and provokes rage at so much unbridled permission – which isn’t love, which isn’t the love we were after. We are more ...

Something else

Jonathan Coe, 5 December 1991

In Black and White 
by Christopher Stevenson.
New Caxton Press, 32 pp., £1.95
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The Tree of Life 
by Hugh Nissenson.
Carcanet, 159 pp., £6.95, September 1991, 0 85635 874 6
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Cley 
by Carey Harrison.
Heinemann, 181 pp., £13.99, November 1991, 0 434 31368 8
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... influence on today’s literary scene, is called gently into question by each of these writers. Carey Harrison, with ostensibly the second (although in fact the first) volume of what looks set to become a monumental tetralogy, puts pressure on the boundaries of the form by insisting that it absorb a near-infinity of characters, events and incidental ...

Rise and Fall of Radio Features

Marilyn Butler, 7 August 1980

Louis MacNeice in the BBC 
by Barbara Coulton.
Faber, 215 pp., £12.50, May 1980, 0 571 11537 3
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Best Radio Plays of 1979 
Eyre Methuen/BBC, 192 pp., £6.95, June 1980, 0 413 47130 6Show More
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... The Child; or with the intriguing dottiness, the peculiar, slightly mad interior landscape, which Carey Harrison brings to the ramshackle house and garden and aging characters of I never killed my German. This last, like Shirley Gee’s Typhoid Mary, delves as deep as MacNeice did into a central character, and deeper into perplexed, irritated central ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Where was I in 1987?, 10 December 1987

... Health Service alone, it would win hands down. 29 May. A letter from N. at Oxford saying that John Carey thinks my ‘Kafka at Las Vegas’ too ‘ruminative and ambling’ to qualify for a university-sponsored lecture. N., though finding it ‘a good read’, tends to agree and suggests an undergraduate society might leap at the prospect. Or I could take my ...

From Progress to Catastrophe

Perry Anderson: The Historical Novel, 28 July 2011

... phrases, with the extraordinary career of Alexandre Dumas, though England was not far behind with Harrison Ainsworth and G.P.R. James. It was at this point that the historical novel started to acquire its modern ambiguity. Most literary genres have included a variety of registers, and as the Russian Formalists always emphasised, their vitality has typically ...

Walk on by

Andrew O’Hagan, 18 November 1993

... appealing to outrage among the local, white community over the allocation of council ... Dr George Carey, the Archbish ... ’ The owner of the radio was shaking his head, twisting the aerial. ‘This’ll be the start of it,’ he said, ‘they’ll all be at each other’s throats.’ We sat smoking, listening to the reaction of the Archbishop and the news ...

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