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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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... failed, he could turn on his slow Chinaman, which he bowled better than anyone else in the world. After Sobers, who? Some Australians who grew up when I did argue with some force for Keith Miller. As FrankKeating’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 ...
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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... a close study of which reliable short biographies of their protagonists may be built up. In this 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 ...

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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... to America because she agreed with its ‘moral premises’. Her only philosophical debt is to Aristotle; 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 ...

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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... of Scientology, Aimée Semple MacPherson, or, more recently and at a coarser commercial level (though 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 ...

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