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In the dark

Philip Horne

1 December 1983
The Life of Alfred Hitchcock: The Dark Side of Genius 
by Donald Spoto.
Collins, 594 pp., £12.95, May 1983, 0 00 216352 7
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Howard Hawks, Storyteller 
by Gerald Mast.
Oxford, 406 pp., £16.50, June 1983, 0 19 503091 5
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... uncanny hold on the mind which gives a force to ‘implausible’ fictions. One of Hitchcock’s masterpieces, the terrifying Psycho (1960), shows a young woman who steals some money happening to stop at a maniac’s motel; the fortuitous conjunction of criminals is seriously witty, at the same time funny (because patently unlikely) and not funny at all ...

Tied to the Mast

Adam Mars-Jones: Alan Hollinghurst

18 October 2017
The Sparsholt Affair 
by Alan Hollinghurst.
Picador, 454 pp., £20, October 2017, 978 1 4472 0821 1
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... accommodate; he’s hardly unaware of the siren voices of modernism but remains safely tied to the mast. It’s likely that Hollinghurst has encouraged more aspiring novelists than anyone else currently writing to give up, putting them in the position of the narrator of Thomas Bernhard’s The Loser, who hears Glenn Gould play and realises that although he is ...

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