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One Enchanted Evening

J. Robert Lennon: Chris Adrian, 17 November 2011

The Great Night 
by Chris Adrian.
Granta, 292 pp., £16.99, June 2011, 978 1 84708 186 5
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... A doctor and former seminarian, Chris Adrian has over the past decade written three sprawling novels of unusual thematic scope and one collection of highly inventive short stories. His first novel, Gob’s Grief, was more varied in style and intent than some entire careers. Though it presents itself as an American Civil War picaresque (the opening line is: ‘Thomas Jefferson Woodhull was 11 years old when he ran away from home to join the Union army’), it gradually turns into a sort of steampunk horror story, featuring the reanimation of corpses and characters with names like The Urfeist and Colonel Blood ...

The Comic Strip

Ian Hamilton, 3 September 1981

... joke, which is: ‘What’s round and hairy and goes up and down?’ ‘A gooseberry in a lift.’ Adrian Dangerous doesn’t get it. ‘How did a gooseberry get in a lift?’ he wants to know. ‘How do I know, it’s a fucking joke, it’s implicit.’ ‘Yuh, well, how does a fucking gooseberry push the button in the lift? Gooseberries don’t have ...

Citizens

David Marquand, 20 December 1990

Citizenship and Community: Civic Republicanism and the Modern World 
by Adrian Oldfield.
Routledge, 196 pp., £30, August 1990, 0 415 04875 3
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Community and the Economy: The Theory of Public Co-operation 
by Jonathan Boswell.
Routledge, 226 pp., £30, October 1990, 0 415 05556 3
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Encouraging citizenship: Report of the Commission on Citizenship 
HMSO, 129 pp., £8, September 1990, 0 11 701464 8Show More
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... Michael Heseltine was groping for a German-style developmental corporatism. Ministers like Chris Patten and Malcolm Rifkind were visibly at odds with New Right doctrine even before the change of government. John Major himself is, of course, an unknown quantity, but the opposition parties have succumbed to wishful thinking in assuming that he will be a ...

Community Relations

Daniel Finn: In Belfast, 27 August 2009

... is the case. The response of Unionist politicians to McDaid’s murder spoke eloquently enough. Adrian McQuillan, the local DUP councillor, explained that the mob had been ‘provoked’ by the flying of Irish flags in the area: ‘What reason can you see for there being tricolours up yesterday afternoon, a Sunday afternoon? None other than for to get a ...

‘Very nice. Who’s next?’

Nick Richardson: ‘Building Stories’, 6 December 2012

Building Stories 
by Chris Ware.
Cape, 246 pp., £30, October 2012, 978 0 224 07812 2
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... Chris Ware’s new book, Building Stories, isn’t a book at all. It’s a cardboard box, about the size of a board game, covered in bright, blocky illustrations and stuffed with comics. A couple of these are hardbound: one in plain charcoal grey; one with a picture of a girl on the cover, drawing. The rest are paper: some the size of the Beano, some as big as old broadsheets – one is done up as a newspaper for bees, called the Daily Bee, motto ‘God Save the Queen ...

A New Twist in the Long Tradition of the Grotesque

Marina Warner: The monstrousness of Britart, 13 April 2000

High Art Lite: British Art in the 1990s 
by Julian Stallabrass.
Verso, 342 pp., £22, December 1999, 1 85984 721 8
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This is Modern Art 
by Matthew Collings.
Weidenfeld, 270 pp., £20, June 1999, 0 297 84292 7
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... Stein, in Alice B. Toklas mode, fauxnaive and paratactic, artless and kooky, the godmother of Adrian Mole. But his favourite art critic, as he admits in It Hurts, his book about the New York art scene, is Clement Greenberg, and he can suddenly throw out a shrewd, decisive insight in the master’s best manner. His claims on art’s behalf are modest and ...

Into the Eisenshpritz

Elif Batuman: Superheroes, 10 April 2008

Life, in Pictures: Autobiographical Stories 
by Will Eisner.
Norton, 493 pp., £18.99, November 2007, 978 0 393 06107 9
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Epileptic 
by David B..
Cape, 368 pp., £12.99, March 2006, 0 224 07920 4
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Shortcomings 
by Adrian Tomine.
Faber, 108 pp., £12.99, September 2007, 978 0 571 23329 8
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Misery Loves Comedy 
by Ivan Brunetti.
Fantagraphics, 172 pp., £15.99, April 2007, 978 1 56097 792 6
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... appropriated by a new group of graphic novelists: Asian Americans, most notably Gene Luen Yang and Adrian Tomine. For Yang and Tomine, the canonical writer of Jewish assimilation is Babel’s American heir, Philip Roth, who transplanted the sphere of action from war to dating. Yang’s American Born Chinese (2006) relates the adventures of a Chinese boy called ...

Barely under Control

Jenny Turner: Education: Who’s in charge?, 7 May 2015

... of the Kershaw report). Since 1 September last year, Park View has had a new executive principal, Adrian Packer, who was previously the head of Everton Free School in Liverpool, which is sponsored by the football club. Before that, he was head of music theatre at the Brit School in Croydon, where he taught Amy Winehouse and Jessie J. When I talked to him in ...

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