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Diary

Giles Gordon: Experimental Sideshows, 7 October 1993

... remark of his, in the TLS, about a subsequent book of mine: ‘There is even a case to be made for Giles Gordon being the only true inheritor of the late B.S. Johnson’s mantle as one of the serious Anglicises of French modes.’ Heady stuff. No British reviewer or critic would write like that now. Many younger readers (older readers too) have no ...

Memories are made of this

Patricia Beer, 16 December 1993

Aren’t We Due a Royalty Statement? 
by Giles Gordon.
Chatto, 352 pp., £16.99, August 1993, 0 7011 6022 5
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Yesterday Came Suddenly 
by Francis King.
Constable, 336 pp., £16.95, September 1993, 9780094722200
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Excursions in the Real World 
by William Trevor.
Hutchinson, 201 pp., £16.99, September 1993, 0 09 177086 6
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... I was well into Giles Gordon’s Aren’t We Due a Royalty Statement? before I noticed that other readers were taking the book seriously, often to the point of denunciation. Up to then I had been assuming that it had set out to be an ingenious spoof, a sort of hoax or parody which had failed to make its intentions thoroughly clear; and that was nothing to be censorious about ...

New Ground for the Book Trade

John Sutherland, 28 September 1989

... important respects fewer can mean better, or at least less tacky. The point was made by the agent Giles Gordon in a letter to the Times on 29 July. Gordon argued that the NBA-protected British book trade was forced to produce ‘far too many titles to enable it to achieve a tolerable turnover’. Because they are fewer ...

Winterlude

Janette Turner Hospital, 1 August 1996

Talking to the Dead 
by Helen Dunmore.
Viking, 224 pp., £16, July 1996, 0 670 87002 1
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... me in 1992 when I read it in Heinemann’s Best Short Stories, the annual selection edited by Giles Gordon and David Hughes. I made a mental note of the author’s name, Helen Dunmore, because I’d never heard of her before. A name to watch for, I thought, and watched for it in The Best of Best Short Stories, 1986-95. Dunmore was not included, which ...

My Old, Sweet, Darling Mob

Iain Sinclair: Michael Moorcock, 30 November 2000

King of the City 
by Michael Moorcock.
Scribner, 421 pp., £9.99, May 2000, 0 684 86140 2
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Mother London 
by Michael Moorcock.
Scribner, 496 pp., £6.99, May 2000, 0 684 86141 0
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... played Miss Marple’, is present. Also namechecked are Patricia Hodge, Simon Russell Beale, Giles Gordon (once Moorcock’s literary agent), Andrea Dworkin and Iris Murdoch, who ‘sat smiling into the middle-distance while Felix Martin explained the H-bomb to her’. What Moorcock is doing, under the permission of a work of fiction, is contriving ...

Short Cuts

Matthew Beaumont: The route to Tyburn Tree, 20 June 2013

... the three-mile journey to the gallows. The route to Tyburn Tree snaked through Holborn and St Giles, then went along Tyburn Road, today’s Oxford Street. It was dense with spectators. At Tyburn itself, a hundred thousand people might be in attendance, jostling one another for standing room, teetering on ladders, sitting along the wall that enclosed Hyde ...

Incompetence at the War Office

Simon Jenkins: Politics and Pistols at Dawn, 18 December 2008

The Duel: Castlereagh, Canning and Deadly Cabinet Rivalry 
by Giles Hunt.
Tauris, 214 pp., £20, January 2008, 978 1 84511 593 7
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... secretary for war. That ministers sometimes do not get on is nothing new. No one reading Giles Hunt’s account of the duel between Lord Castlereagh and George Canning can drive from their imagination the more recent feud between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, accounts of which made me thankful there are no firearms ...

A New Kind of Being

Jenny Turner: Angela Carter, 3 November 2016

The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography 
by Edmund Gordon.
Chatto, 544 pp., £25, October 2016, 978 0 7011 8755 2
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... Mark Pearce, her second husband, and Alexander, the couple’s son, born in 1983. As Edmund Gordon says towards the beginning of his biography, Carter was never so widely acclaimed in life as she would be in the weeks and years after her death. The tributes were long, sometimes fulsome, always affectionate, and full of great table talk and funny stories ...

The Grey Boneyard of Fifties England

Iain Sinclair, 22 August 1996

A Perfect Execution 
by Tim Binding.
Picador, 344 pp., £15.99, May 1996, 0 330 34564 8
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... and becomes a radio comedian, a personality. A fruit-eater. A roadside sex pest, a killer. Giles Doughty (Binding names with relish, as if he were launching a board-game), the lecherous weatherman of In the Kingdom of Air, is destroyed by metropolitan pretensions and has to find his salvation by following a knotted string down into the mystery of the ...

Muldoon – A Mystery

Michael Hofmann, 20 December 1990

Madoc – A Mystery 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 261 pp., £14.99, October 1990, 0 571 14489 6
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... that Southey’s ‘rooms were next to the college lavatories, by an alley that opened on to St Giles’, or the fact that Southey ‘left for Dublin to take up a post as Secretary to the Irish Chancellor, with a salary of £200 per annum, a characteristically efficient career move’. The point about these is not whether Muldoon knows them or not, but that ...

The Party in Government

Conor Gearty, 9 March 1995

... president of United Biscuits, which gave £632,500 to the Party during the Thatcher years); Sir Gordon White (head of the US arm of Hanson, which gave £652,000 to the Tories and £100,000 to the Centre for Policy Studies in 1981-90); Sir Jeffrey Sterling (head of P & O, which gave £370,000 during the Thatcher years); Peter Palumbo (Chairman of the Arts ...

Heir to Blair

Christopher Tayler: Among the New Tories, 26 April 2007

... Good Business (2002), a polemic-cum-mission statement written by Hilton and his business partner Giles Gibbons, is almost messianic in its faith ‘that not only is it possible to combine profit-making with socially beneficial outcomes, but that we should all work towards a situation in which helping society becomes the single best way to make ...

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