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Pseud’s Corner

John Sutherland

17 July 1980
Duffy 
by Dan Kavanagh.
Cape, 181 pp., £4.95, July 1980, 0 224 01822 1
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Moscow Gold 
by John Salisbury.
Futura, 320 pp., £1.10, March 1980, 0 7088 1702 5
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The Middle Ground 
by Margaret Drabble.
Weidenfeld, 248 pp., £5.95, June 1980, 0 297 77808 0
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The Boy Who Followed Ripley 
by Patricia Highsmith.
Heinemann, 292 pp., £6.50, April 1980, 0 434 33520 7
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... Brian Wynne’) have adopted surnames which were, apparently, those of their mothers before they married. In one of the pseudonymously offered novels under review, Julian Barnes writes as ‘DanKavanagh’, having recently married Pat Kavanagh, the literary agent, who is the dedicatee of Duffy. Harder to crack is the pseudonymous code of Michael Crichton, the omnicompetent ‘movelist’. (He is ...
1 October 1998
England, England 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 272 pp., £15.99, September 1998, 0 224 05275 6
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... of free indirect sauce. Barnes loves to dissemble and pretend: as the hack Edward Pygge, composer of the satiric ‘Greek Street’ columns written for the New Review back in the Seventies, and as DanKavanagh, author of the ‘Duffy’ crime novels of the Eighties, which come complete with their own arch little author biographies (‘DanKavanagh was born in County Sligo in 1946. Having devoted ...
4 January 1996
Cross Channel 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 211 pp., £13.99, January 1996, 0 224 04301 3
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... his narrator Braithwaite falls into a witty, hard-boiled, smart-arse tone (like that of his wood-worm who stows away aboard the Ark, or of the private eye Duffy in the crime novels he publishes as ‘DanKavanagh’), thus effectively wrecking the parallel, which it is part of Barnes’s scheme to draw, between Braithwaite and the shy and bumbling Charles Bovary. In Cross Channel Barnes observes the ...
7 November 1985
Galapagos 
by Kurt Vonnegut.
Cape, 269 pp., £9.50, October 1985, 0 224 02847 2
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A Family Madness 
by Thomas Keneally.
Hodder, 315 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 340 38449 2
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A Storm from Paradise 
by Stuart Hood.
Carcanet, 188 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 85635 582 8
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Samarkand 
by John Murray.
Aidan​ Ellis, 255 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 85628 151 4
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The Sicilian 
by Mario Puzo.
Bantam, 410 pp., £9.95, May 1985, 0 593 01001 9
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Putting the boot in 
by Dan Kavanagh.
Cape, 192 pp., £8.95, August 1985, 0 224 02332 2
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... different this time. And it’s noticeable that The Sicilian is much more hostile to gangsterism than the culpably ambivalent original work. Altogether, it’s a rather odd chip off the old block. DanKavanagh’s ‘Duffy’ series, of which Putting the boot in is the third, gets better and better. This time round the bisexual (but heterosexually inhibited) private eye is involved in the seedy ...

Like choosing between bacon and egg and bacon and tomato

Christopher Tayler: The Wryness of Julian Barnes

15 April 2004
The Lemon Table 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 213 pp., £16.99, March 2004, 9780224071987
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... Perhaps it’s best to say that, in his famous novels of the 1980s, Barnes treated fiction and the essay much as Duffy – the hero of his entertaining potboilers written under the pseudonym ‘DanKavanagh’ – treated women and men. For Duffy, ‘randy’ after a hard day’s Soho pavement-pounding, ‘the choice between trawling for a man and trawling for a woman . . . was like choosing between ...

Hillside Men

Roy Foster: Ernie O’Malley

16 July 1998
Ernie O’Malley: IRA Intellectual 
by Richard English.
Oxford, 284 pp., £25, March 1998, 0 01 982059 3
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... Siècle to the Thirties lived aside from the world of the insurrectionists. The latter were rarely writers and the books they produced are undistinguished. Tom Barry’s Guerrilla Days in Ireland and Dan Breen’s My Fight for Irish Freedom have their charms, but there was no Herzen or Trotsky capable of distilling the Irish revolutionary mentality and experience into a classic memoir: except for ...

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