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A Toast at the Trocadero

Terry Eagleton: D.J. Taylor

18 February 2016
The Prose Factory: Literary Life in England since 1918 
by D.J. Taylor.
Chatto, 501 pp., £25, January 2016, 978 0 7011 8613 5
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... is Taylor’s unflagging interest in literary figures nobody else has heard of. He has read books with titles like How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup, a novel of 1975 by one J.L.Carr, as well as G.H. Goodchild’s handy wartime guide, Keeping Poultry and Rabbits on Scraps. There seems not to have been a dreadful piece of fiction published in 20th-century England that he hasn’t ...
22 May 1980
How far can you go? 
by David Lodge.
Secker, 244 pp., £5.95, April 1980, 0 436 25661 4
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Life before Man 
by Margaret Atwood.
Cape, 317 pp., £5.95, March 1980, 0 224 01782 9
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Desirable Residence 
by Lettice Cooper.
Gollancz, 191 pp., £5.50, April 1980, 0 575 02787 8
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A Month in the Country 
by J.L. Carr.
Harvester, 110 pp., £6.50, April 1980, 0 85527 328 3
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... or even comes out particularly well; but there is good sense and good feeling about, and we are left to suppose that they might sometime begin to work. By a strange synchronistic phenomenon J.L.Carr’s A Month in the Country is like Paul Bailey’s latest novel, a short admirably written story about two survivors from World War One. But they are not old soldiers: it is set in the summer of 1920 ...


D.A.N. Jones

21 November 1985
The Prague Orgy 
by Philip Roth.
Cape, 89 pp., £5.95, October 1985, 0 224 02815 4
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by Raymond Williams.
Chatto, 378 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 7011 2843 7
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Cousin Rosamund 
by Rebecca West.
Macmillan, 295 pp., £9.95, October 1985, 0 333 39797 5
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The Battle of Pollocks Crossing 
by J.L. Carr.
Viking, 176 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 670 80559 9
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The Bone People 
by Keri Hulme.
Hodder, 450 pp., £9.95, July​ 1985, 0 340 37024 6
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... fragments before they were published, but it is interesting to see them in their raw state. Now we must turn disconsolately to two novels shortlisted for the Booker-McConnell Prize for Fiction. J.L.Carr’s The Battle of Pollocks Crossing is a fairly short book offering traditional English complaints against the United States. The hero, George Gidner, goes to Dakota in 1929, leaving his teaching job ...

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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... commonplace’, which he thinks we would need to lose our preconceptions in order to appreciate. But the Orwellian echo is too grandiose for the occasion, and as for the pastoral novelists – J.L.Carr and the late Don Bannister – one must hope that they are not unceremoniously ditched in Taylor’s next volume. Is modern fiction inadequate because the modern world is too complex for the novelist ...


Alan Bennett: My 2006

4 January 2007
... getting it on, whether these would attract this same Saturday night crowd who would subject the sacred porn to their wholesome, safe, art-loving scrutiny, making them just as hygienic as the rest. 1 July. Watch the commentary and round-ups (they could hardly be called highlights) after the England-Portugal match. One Shakespearean moment at the start when Cristiano Ronaldo comes up behind his ...

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