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Vindicated!

David Edgar: The Angry Brigade, 16 December 2004

The Angry Brigade: The Cause and the Case 
by Gordon Carr.
ChristieBooks, 168 pp., £34, July 2003, 1 873976 21 6
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Granny Made Me an Anarchist 
by Stuart Christie.
Scribner, 423 pp., £10.99, September 2004, 0 7432 5918 1
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... of them describes as ‘Britain’s first urban guerrilla group’. Originally published in 1975, Gordon Carr’s book is a big-format, bite-sized narrative of the Brigade and the trials of its alleged members, supplemented by a selective chronology of the ‘angry decade’ of 1965-75. Its protagonists are a group of young student militants, inspired by ...

Emotional Sushi

Ian Sansom: Tony, Nick and Simon, 9 August 2001

One for My Baby 
by Tony Parsons.
HarperCollins, 330 pp., £15.99, July 2001, 0 00 226182 0
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How to Be Good 
by Nick Hornby.
Viking, 256 pp., £16.99, May 2001, 0 670 88823 0
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Little Green Man 
by Simon Armitage.
Viking, 246 pp., £12.99, August 2001, 0 670 89442 7
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... Hornby’s distinctive voice proves impossible to disguise: How to Be Good’s Katie Carr is About a Boy’s Will Freeman is the High Fidelity Rob is the same autobiographical voice familiar to readers of Fever Pitch. Fortunately, it is a voice of apparently inexhaustible and androgynous charm. Hornby was never really writing Lad Lit, which if it ...

Flying the flag

Patrick Parrinder, 18 November 1993

The Modern British Novel 
by Malcolm Bradbury.
Secker, 512 pp., £20, October 1993, 0 436 20132 1
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After the War: The Novel and English Society since 1945 
by D.J. Taylor.
Chatto, 310 pp., £17.99, September 1993, 9780701137694
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... Byatt. Another novelist whose protagonists are more or less passive and defeated is George Orwell. Gordon Comstock and Winston Smith are no heroes, as their names indicate. But Orwell himself – also a created character in various ways – was a redoubtable hero. In both A Vain Conceit and After the War Taylor invokes him as a tutelary deity: in the ...

Phut-Phut

James Wood: The ‘TLS’, 27 June 2002

Critical Times: The History of the ‘Times Literary Supplement’ 
by Derwent May.
HarperCollins, 606 pp., £25, November 2001, 0 00 711449 4
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... existed. This world was Q’s cave: a warm, amateurish, freshly-dug hideout in which, say, G.S. Gordon, when he succeeded Walter Raleigh as Merton Professor of English at Oxford, ‘was said to have got the job largely on the strength of his Lit Supp contributions’. In that first year of the TLS’s existence, The Wings of the Dove was reviewed by ...

Green, Serene

Sameer Rahim: Islamic Extremism, 19 July 2007

The Islamist 
by Ed Husain.
Penguin, 288 pp., £8.99, May 2007, 978 0 14 103043 2
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... with teachers who made him think critically about facts and sources. He was inspired by E.H. Carr; he learned that Hizb ut-Tahrir had taken many of its ideas from Rousseau and Gramsci. At the same time, he began attending Islamic study groups that focused on spirituality rather than politics. He heard a Muslim scholar reprimand those ‘who adopted ...

Pseud’s Corner

John Sutherland, 17 July 1980

Duffy 
by Dan Kavanagh.
Cape, 181 pp., £4.95, July 1980, 0 224 01822 1
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Moscow Gold 
by John Salisbury.
Futura, 320 pp., £1.10, March 1980, 0 7088 1702 5
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The Middle Ground 
by Margaret Drabble.
Weidenfeld, 248 pp., £5.95, June 1980, 0 297 77808 0
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The Boy Who Followed Ripley 
by Patricia Highsmith.
Heinemann, 292 pp., £6.50, April 1980, 0 434 33520 7
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... his writing self. One notes, in support of this, the prominence in the novels of heroes like Gordon Comstock who break with their stultifying families. And it is interesting, in the light of the works reviewed here, that Patricia Highsmith also seems to have been one of those who felt the need to rename herself before going on to make a name for herself ...

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