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The Olympics Scam

Iain Sinclair: The Razing of East London, 19 June 2008

... time which reduces every labour myth to dust, Maxwell Joseph acquired the Truman Brewery in Brick Lane. The brewery – with its stables, cellars, cooperage, cobbled yards – acted, along with the Spitalfields fruit and veg market and Nicholas Hawksmoor’s Christ Church, as a buffer-reef against the encroachment of the City. A benevolent and paternalistic ...


Iain Sinclair: My Olympics, 30 August 2012

... a bus station with its satellite café. When the bus station was demolished, the café failed. David Mills, the Owl Man of Albion Drive, fenced the site, built hutches for his birds and excavated a carp pool. For years, nobody cared. He had, like so many others in this borough, slipped into a crack between worlds. If the council acknowledged his existence ...

At least that was the idea

Thomas Keymer: Johnson and Boswell’s Club, 10 October 2019

The Club: Johnson, Boswell and the Friends who Shaped an Age 
by Leo Damrosch.
Yale, 488 pp., £20, April 2019, 978 0 300 21790 2
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... a value on titles,’ he purred, ‘and I go with the great stream of life.’ Another member was David Garrick, who grew up alongside Johnson in provincial Lichfield, and shot to prominence in his twenties for the revolutionary naturalism of his acting style, notably his startling performance as Richard III. Garrick was elected to the Club in 1773; the ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: The 1970s, 18 November 2010

... to a version of style that negates itself and calls itself Austerity. (The opening chapter of David Kynaston’s Austerity Britain, 1945-51 is called ‘Waiting for Something to Happen’.) It can take a while for a decade to have a style. The 1950s, for example, weren’t really the 1950s until the 1960s so clearly turned out to be the 1960s.* We know ...

Dear Mohamed

Paul Foot, 20 February 1997

Sleaze: The Corruption of Parliament 
by David Leigh and Ed Vulliamy.
Fourth Estate, 263 pp., £9.99, January 1997, 1 85702 694 2
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... fiction the actors offered only a false address in the United States and posh premises in Park Lane equipped with an answering machine. Grylls was hooked at once. He recommended the legendary lobbyist Ian Greer, who was approached by the hoaxers and, like Grylls, immediately hoodwinked. Lured to the bogus Park ...

Short Cuts

Bill Pearlman: Hanging with Pynchon, 17 December 2009

... and crabbed at the nearby dock in Waldport. My friend Charlie Vermont, a poet, introduced me to David Shetzline and his wife, M.F. Beal, both writers, who lived up the road from us in a place called Beavercreek. We got into some swinging scenes, did some major acid, talked about the world. Shetzline had been a student with Thomas Pynchon at Cornell in the ...

It wasn’t the Oval

Blake Morrison: Michael Frayn, 7 October 2010

My Father’s Fortune: A Life 
by Michael Frayn.
Faber, 255 pp., £16.99, September 2010, 978 0 571 27058 3
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... wistfully of seeing Len Hutton in his prime, captained a team called the Gaieties XI. Simon Gray, David Hare and Ronald Harwood are or were known to be keen on the game, too. And Tom Stoppard, another follower, has a striking set-piece in The Real Thing in which a playwright, explaining dramatic technique, says: ‘What we’re trying to do is to write ...

Melton Constable

W.R. Mead, 22 May 1986

The past is a foreign country 
by David Lowenthal.
Cambridge, 489 pp., £27.50, November 1985, 0 521 22415 2
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... those who support Save Britain’s Heritage know only too well. We live in a retrospective age and David Lowenthal’s discursive study is a product of it. One of the attractions of this book is that it enables the Melton Constables of the world to be seen in the context of the future as well as the past. David Lowenthal is ...

Hateful Sunsets

David Craig: Highlands and Headlands, 5 March 2015

Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place 
by Philip Marsden.
Granta, 348 pp., £20, October 2014, 978 1 84708 628 0
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... Western Europe reaches one of its fine points here, like Cape Wrath in Sutherland, Lleyn and St David’s Head in Wales, and Cornuaille in Brittany. In such places we come across peaks and juts of rock which look and feel like those in West Penwith: ‘look’ because they draw our eyes and feet like magnets, ‘feel’ because the whitish crystals of ...

Short Cuts

Deborah Friedell: First Impressions, 16 August 2007

... David Lassman, the director of the Jane Austen Festival in Bath (Regency dress parade, bonnet-making workshops, ‘Tea with Mr Darcy’), submitted opening chapters and plot synopses of Austen’s novels to 18 British publishers and agents, changing just the titles and characters’ names. Lassman was ‘staggered’, he told the Guardian, when he received form letter rejections back ...


Ian Hamilton, 25 January 1996

Not Playing for Celtic: Another Paradise Lost 
by David Bennie.
Mainstream, 221 pp., £12.99, October 1995, 1 85158 757 8
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Achieving the Goal 
by David Platt.
Richard Cohen, 244 pp., £12.99, October 1995, 1 86066 017 7
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Captain’s Log: The Gary McAllister Story 
by Gary McAllister and Graham Clark.
Mainstream, 192 pp., £14.99, October 1995, 9781851587902
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Blue Grit: The John Brown Story 
by John Brown and Derek Watson.
Mainstream, 176 pp., £14.99, November 1995, 1 85158 822 1
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Kicking and Screaming: An Oral History of Football in England 
by Rogan Taylor and Andrew Ward.
Robson, 370 pp., £16.95, October 1995, 0 86051 912 0
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A Passion for the Game: Real Lives in Football 
by Tom Watt.
Mainstream, 316 pp., £14.99, October 1995, 1 85158 714 4
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... happily hold forth for hours about the rugged terrace-time I’d served, at Feethams, White Hart Lane, the Manor Ground. And when it came to the archival stuff, if you could spare the time, well, so could I. ‘Name three of the Spurs’ double side’s reserves,’ I’d say, or: ‘How many of the 1964 West Ham cupwinning team had names beginning with a ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Have you seen their sandals?, 3 July 2014

... to me was worried that he wouldn’t be able to get an interview with any of the guys from GQ. David Gandy, the male supermodel, wearing a shark-tooth suit and a Burberry tie, was being interviewed for Fashion TV. Within seconds of him standing up people were photographing him being filmed. You see this all the time at fashion events. Legend says there was ...

Peine forte et dure

Hazel V. Carby: Punishment by Pressing, 30 July 2020

... one point in the footage three officers, Derek Michael Chauvin, Alexander Kueng and Thomas Kieran Lane, can be seen kneeling on Floyd, applying pressure to his neck, torso and legs. A combined weight of around 600 lbs pressed George Floyd into the ground while he pleaded: ‘I can’t breathe, man, please.’The most widely shared recording, made by ...

Vehicles of Dissatisfaction

Jonathan Dollimore: Men and Motors, 24 July 2003

Autopia: Cars and Culture 
edited by Peter Wollen and Joe Kerr.
Reaktion, 400 pp., £25, November 2002, 1 86189 132 6
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... Ian Parker describes in Autopia how a signal engineer got vehicles flowing again at the Hanger Lane gyratory system in London by finding seven ‘spare’ seconds in a nearby set of traffic lights. When this time was redistributed between other lights, the traffic in the system – around eight thousand vehicles an hour – flowed better, but only for a ...

Long live the codex

John Sutherland: The future of books, 5 July 2001

Book Business: Publishing Past, Present and Future 
by Jason Epstein.
Norton, 188 pp., £16.95, March 2001, 0 393 04984 1
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... buying Penguin Books’ American branch. The two men crossed the pond for talks with Alan [sic] Lane. Epstein was not impressed. He decided that Lane, ‘like most British publishers’, was in hock to his bankers. The penguin would never fly. Epstein went home to the skyscrapers, where a publisher could spread his ...

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