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Come here, Botham

Paul Foot, 9 October 1986

High, Wide and Handsome. Ian Botham: The Story of a Very Special Year 
by Frank Keating.
Collins, 218 pp., £10.95, June 1986, 0 00 218226 2
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... Sobers, who? Some Australians who grew up when I did argue with some force for Keith Miller. As Frank Keating’s book proves, however, Miller can quickly be rejected for second place. It goes, unquestionably, to Ian Botham. Indeed in one crucial respect, Botham beats even the great Sobers himself. Only 22 times in over a thousand Test matches has a ...

Barriers of Silliness

J.I.M. Stewart, 1 July 1982

The Great Detectives: Seven Original Investigations 
by Julian Symons.
Orbis, 143 pp., £7.95, October 1981, 0 85613 362 0
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Critical Observations 
by Julian Symons.
Faber, 213 pp., £9.95, October 1981, 0 571 11688 4
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As I walked down New Grub Street: Memories of a Writing Life 
by Walter Allen.
Heinemann, 276 pp., £8.95, November 1981, 0 434 01829 5
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... scholarly activity numerous difficulties, needless to say, confront the biographer. Mr H. R. F. Keating has been driven to the conclusion that Hercule Poirot was aged 130 (or a little more) at the time of his death as recorded in Curtain. This is a perplexing improbability which Mr Symons (with the advantage of working from Captain Arthur Hastings’s notes ...

As Astonishing as Elvis

Jenny Turner: Ayn Rand, 1 December 2005

Ayn Rand 
by Jeff Britting.
Duckworth, 155 pp., £12.99, February 2005, 0 7156 3269 8
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... her only other acknowledgment is to the ‘values of character’ she finds in her husband, Frank. Then come ten pages of information about Objectivism, with bibliographies and a full-page advertisement – FIND or start a campus club near you ENTER essay contests on Ayn Rand’s novels – and an inside-back-page ad for yet another book. There are ...

The Power of Sunshine

Alexander Cockburn, 10 January 1991

City of Quartz: Excavating the Future of Los Angeles 
by Mike Davis.
Verso, 462 pp., £18.95, November 1990, 0 86091 303 1
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... Hubbard was pretty coarse at the arts of primitive accumulation), the promotions of Charles Keating (S&Ls) and Michael Milken, high priest of the junk bond, now facing ten years in the Federal penitentiary. There’s rarely been a city harder to ‘see’, through a windscreen caked with the alternative myths of the boosters and the noirs, nor one about ...

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