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Chop and Burn

Adam Mars-Jones: Annie Proulx, 27 July 2016

by Annie Proulx.
Fourth Estate, 717 pp., £18.99, June 2016, 978 0 00 723200 0
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... when I am gone. Proulx has a weakness for silly and/or overexplicit names, such as Theodore Jinks and Sextus Bollard, and the name Breitsprecher, meaning ‘wide speaker’, is only slightly more sophisticated, conveying his eloquence and breadth of perspective, but Proulx nevertheless makes him work as a character rather than the novel’s voice of ...

Greasers and Rah-Rahs

John Lahr: Bruce Springsteen’s Memoir, 2 February 2017

Born to Run 
by Bruce Springsteen.
Simon and Schuster, 510 pp., £20, September 2016, 978 1 4711 5779 0
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... so close to the leather-jacketed, blue-jeaned rock idol (the ‘love child of Bob Dylan and James Brown’, as Jon Stewart joked) that we could almost have fist-bumped. To get this close, we journos had to bring specific photo ID (‘driver’s licence or passport’), be searched, undertake to make notes only with pen and notepad, refrain from ...

Take a bullet for the team

David Runciman: The Profumo Affair, 21 February 2013

An English Affair: Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo 
by Richard Davenport-Hines.
Harper, 400 pp., £20, January 2013, 978 0 00 743584 5
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... resignation, there were two further, short-lived secretaries of state for war (Joseph Godber and James Ramsden). Within a year Harold Wilson’s incoming Labour government had abolished the post altogether, amalgamating its duties into the Ministry of Defence. Profumo killed off his job at the same time that he was destroying his own career. What Profumo ...

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