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John Sutherland: David Storey

17 September 1998
A Serious Man 
by David Storey.
Cape, 359 pp., £16.99, June 1998, 9780224051583
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Saville 
by David Storey.
Vintage, 555 pp., £6.99, June 1998, 0 09 927408 6
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... Say ‘DavidStorey’ and readers of my (and his) generation will recall the final shot of This Sporting Life: Frank Machin (Richard Harris), mired, spavined, raising himself on the rugby field to lurch back into ...

Attercliffe

Nicholas Spice

17 May 1984
Present Times 
by David Storey.
Cape, 270 pp., £8.95, May 1984, 0 224 02188 5
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The Uses of Fiction: Essays on the Modern Novel in Honour of Arnold Kettle 
edited by Douglas Jefferson and Graham Martin.
Open University, 296 pp., £15, December 1982, 9780335101818
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The Hawthorn Goddess 
by Glyn Hughes.
Chatto, 232 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 7011 2818 6
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... Attercliffe. Attercliffe disagrees. They have an argument. It is the first of several similar arguments. This, more or less, is how Present Times begins, and one thing very quickly becomes clear: DavidStorey likes compound adjectives. ‘Black-plasticated’, ‘red-track-suited’, ‘astrakhan-hatted’, ‘bushy-bearded’, ‘pugilistically-featured’, ‘dark-eyed’, ‘dark-glassed ...

Prodigals

John Sutherland

19 August 1982
A Prodigal Child 
by David Storey.
Cape, 319 pp., £7.50, June 1982, 0 224 02027 7
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The Prodigal Daughter 
by Jeffrey Archer.
Hodder, 447 pp., £7.95, July 1982, 0 340 27687 8
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Ralph 
by John Stonehouse.
Cape, 318 pp., £6.95, May 1982, 0 224 02019 6
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The Man from St Petersburg 
by Ken Follett.
Hamish Hamilton, 292 pp., £7.95, May 1982, 0 241 10783 0
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The Patriot Game 
by George Higgins.
Secker, 237 pp., £7.50, July 1982, 0 436 19589 5
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... DavidStorey’s new novel begins with a brief prelude reminiscent of The Rainbow’s, tracing the historical mutations of a locality from its natural to its urban (here 1930s) condition. The theme of the novel ...
20 July 2000
... excrement from the area steps, for instance, or rooting with a bent coat-hanger down a blocked sink) thoughts occur like ‘I bet Tom Stoppard doesn’t have to do this’ or ‘There is no doubt David Hare would have deputed this to an underling.’ So I was happy to read in Gavin Lambert’s Mainly about Lindsay Anderson* that Lindsay harboured similar thoughts about such self-imposed menialities ...

Bloody Brilliant Banter

Theo Tait: ‘A Natural’

3 May 2017
A Natural 
by Ross Raisin.
Cape, 343 pp., £14.99, March 2017, 978 1 910702 66 6
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... the opposite tendency: for novels that take you somewhere you haven’t been before, that create an enclosed, distinctive world of their own. There are very few good British novels about sport, and, David Peace aside, hardly any about football – despite its place in our culture. In A Natural, Raisin delves into the life of a lower league English football team – a subject never covered before, as ...

Booker Books

Frank Kermode

22 November 1979
... that on the whole it is the moderate sellers, writers who are not exactly caviare to the general but have won the respect of professional critics, who are favoured: V.S. Naipaul, Nadine Gordimer, DavidStorey, Paul Scott, Iris Murdoch, for instance. Beyond that it isn’t easy to see much significance in the list – perhaps there’s a nostalgia for the old Empire (Scott, J.G. Farrell, Ruth Prawer ...

Of the Mule Breed

David​ Bromwich: Robert Southey

21 May 1998
Robert Southey: A Life 
by Mark Storey.
Oxford, 405 pp., £25, April 1997, 0 19 811246 7
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... Southey was never a ‘marvellous boy’, but he lived a boyish life in books for half a century, and Mark Storey’s Life promises to solve a puzzle about his reputation: how someone so earnest and full of ideals could draw the loyalty of one generation, the livid contempt of another, and the nostalgic ...

Mockney Rebels

Thomas Jones: Lindsay Anderson

20 July 2000
Mainly about Linsay Anderson 
by Gavin Lambert.
Faber, 302 pp., £18.99, May 2000, 0 571 17775 1
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... in Africa, a man pleading for his life beside a car in which a woman has been shot dead. At one point, Travis, played by Malcolm McDowell, passing the vodka to his friends, Johnny and Wallace (David Wood and Richard Warwick), asks: ‘When do we live? That’s what I want to know.’ Elsewhere in the film, when the three of them are fencing together, playing at fighting, Travis gets cut on the ...

Messages from the 29th Floor

David​ Trotter: Lifts

2 July 2014
Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator 
by Andreas Bernard, translated by David​ Dollenmayer.
NYU, 309 pp., £21.99, April 2014, 978 0 8147 8716 8
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... the comfort of their bodies he has a machine made like a car, which is drawn up by a chain from the bottom to the top of the house; it holds about six people, who can be at pleasure elevated to any storey, and at each landing place there is a contrivance to let them in and out.’ In June 1853, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine reported the imminent introduction of steam-powered elevators into private ...

At the David​ Parr House

Eleanor Birne: There are two histories here

7 November 2019
... In my mind, Gwydir Street was the sophisticated centre of the urban world. Walk down it now, past the old Dewdrop Inn (a Victorian joke: ‘do drop in’) and you barely notice Number 186. A two-storey artisan’s cottage, just as ordinary from the outside as the rest, it is open – two days a week at least – as the David Parr House, after its one-time owner. The narrow hallway is dark; your ...

In Letchworth

Gillian Darley: Pevsner's Hertfordshire

22 December 2019
... North Road didn’t begin until we passed the de Havilland works at Hatfield and the Comet, a 1930s roadhouse that is apparently designed ‘to resemble the outline of an aeroplane, with rounded two-storey nose and lower wings’. In front of it stands a column carved by Eric Kennington with images of flight and surmounted by a model of the Comet racing plane. The 1952 flight test hangar and the ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2016

5 January 2017
... 11 January. It’s not to disparage David Bowie, but if even a fraction of the tributes being paid to him and his influence were true we would never have had a Conservative government or indeed any government at all. Hearing the news on the ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 1998

21 January 1999
... d been led to expect. 14 April. Watch Grammar School Days (BBC2), a documentary about the eleven-plus and after, with reminiscences by various advertisements for the system, including Kenneth Clarke, David Puttnam and Barry Hines. Listening to their recollections of taking and passing the eleven-plus makes me wonder whether I ever took it at all. I had jumped one or two classes at my primary school so ...

Tall Storeys

Patrick Parrinder

10 December 1987
Life: A User’s Manual 
by Georges Perec, translated by David​ Bellos.
Collins Harvill, 581 pp., £15, October 1987, 0 00 271463 9
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The New York Trilogy: City of Glass, Ghosts, and The Locked Room 
by Paul Auster.
Faber, 314 pp., £10.95, November 1987, 0 571 14925 1
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... to Z. (It opens with the words Abbesse! Aidez!) Not surprisingly, much of his work is regarded as untranslatable. Life: A User’s Manual is an exception, though it has clearly taxed the ingenuity of David Bellos. A chapter of humorous visiting-cards, for example, produces only one instantly cross-cultural item (‘Madeleine Proust: “Souvenirs” ’ – not one of Perec’s subtlest efforts ...

Mr and Mrs Hopper

Gail Levin: How the Tate gets Edward Hopper wrong

24 June 2004
Edward Hopper 
edited by Sheena Wagstaff.
Tate Gallery, 256 pp., £29.99, May 2004, 1 85437 533 4
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... Museum, Whitney, & thru them spread thru most of the universities for those who cannot abide not subscribing to le dernier cri from Europe’. Rothko dominates an essay in the Hopper catalogue by David Anfam, the author of the Rothko catalogue raisonné, who notes that ‘so much has been written about Edward Hopper that perhaps one of the few remaining royal roads by which to approach him is via ...

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