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Here is a little family

Amit Chaudhuri, 9 July 1992

After Silence 
by Jonathan Carroll.
Macdonald, 240 pp., £14.99, June 1992, 0 356 20342 5
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The Law of White Space 
by Giorgio Pressburger.
Granta, 172 pp., £12.99, March 1992, 0 14 014221 5
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Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree 
by Tariq Ali.
Chatto, 240 pp., £14.99, May 1992, 0 7011 3944 7
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... sexual and racial ambiguity. With great novelistic skill, bringing together detail and movement, Carroll evokes, through the reminiscences of his narrator, his own version of the surreal everydayness of American life. In the Crowds and Power restaurant, people of various races tell each other jokes. Here, Max courts Lily; he makes friends with Lincoln and ...

Exasperating Classics

Patricia Craig, 23 May 1985

Secret Gardens 
by Humphrey Carpenter.
Allen and Unwin, 235 pp., £12.95, April 1985, 0 04 809022 0
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Reading and Righting 
by Robert Leeson.
Collins, 256 pp., £6.95, March 1985, 9780001844131
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Pipers at the Gates of Dawn 
by Jonathan Cott.
Viking, 327 pp., £12.95, August 1984, 0 670 80003 1
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... Starting from such a standpoint can lead to an unduly socialist reading of certain classics. For Carroll’s Alice, Leeson tells us, ‘the worst thing that can happen is that she should wake up and find herself living in a poor child’s home.’ Really, of course, Alice is simply afraid of finding herself not herself, but someone quite ...

Queen Mary

Michael Neve, 20 December 1984

A Darker Shade of Pale: A Backdrop to Bob Dylan 
by Wilfrid Mellers.
Faber, 255 pp., £6.95, November 1984, 0 571 13345 2
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by Jonathan Cott.
Vermilion/Hutchinson, 244 pp., £20, October 1984, 0 09 158750 6
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... Amerindian and White Negro’. It is all a bit too much, but at least Mellers takes care, unlike Jonathan Cott in his expensive, over-reverential tome: one more coffee-table book. It may seem a bit Dylanesque (i.e. slightly cruel) but I finished Cott’s book without being able to remember what it had been about. Mellers has, at the very least, used his ...

Joe, Jerry and Bomber Blair

Owen Hatherley: Jonathan Meades, 7 March 2013

Museum without Walls 
by Jonathan Meades.
Unbound, 446 pp., £20, September 2012, 978 1 908717 18 4
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... Jonathan Meades, for the last thirty years Britain’s most consistently surprising and informative writer on the built environment, has finally published a book on the subject. A volume did appear in 1988 – English Extremists, written with Deyan Sudjic and Peter Cook, celebrating the postmodern architects Campbell Zogolovitch Wilson Gough – but since then his medium has been television ...


Christopher Turner: The controversial Alfred Kinsey, 6 January 2005

... other politicians were ‘bad behaviour risks’, which was perhaps what stirred Congressman B. Carroll Reece to attack the Rockefeller Foundation for funding Kinsey’s ‘Communist-inspired’ efforts at ‘weakening American morality’. (The foundation withdrew its generous funding and gave the money to a theological seminary instead.) In July 2003, in ...


Adam Mars-Jones: Amis Resigns, 21 June 2012

Lionel Asbo: State of England 
by Martin Amis.
Cape, 288 pp., £18.99, June 2012, 978 0 224 09620 1
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... reaching us effectively pre-satirised, it’s worth looking at the 2003 media coverage of Michael Carroll, a lotto lout who seems to have chosen the role of John the Baptist to Amis’s rough beast of incarnate chavhood. Carroll, twenty, banned from driving, turned the grounds of his Norfolk villa into a 24-hour race track ...

A Preference for Torquemada

Michael Wood: G.K. Chesterton, 9 April 2009

Chesterton and the Romance of Orthodoxy: The Making of GKC 1874-1908 
by William Oddie.
Oxford, 401 pp., £25, November 2008, 978 0 19 955165 1
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The Man Who Was Thursday 
by G.K. Chesterton.
Atlantic, 187 pp., £7.99, December 2008, 978 1 84354 905 5
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... remembering’, ‘a conflation of the period recalled with the process of recalling it’. Jonathan Lethem, in his very sharp introduction to a Modern Library reprint of The Man Who Was Thursday, says the novel is ‘far too personal and strange to parse as an allegory of Chesterton’s Catholicism’, and he is right. Or rather, it is too personal and ...

Blood for Oil?

Retort: The takeover of Iraq, 21 April 2005

... bulwarks against the neo-liberal attack. The appointment of the former Shell executive Philip Carroll to run the Baghdad energy ministry was logical, given Paul Bremer’s belief that the Iraqi Governing Council’s attachment to oil nationalisation ‘had to be changed’. Bremer’s first act as proconsul, after all, had been directed at the 190 ...

The Killing of Osama bin Laden

Seymour M. Hersh, 21 May 2015

... the Obama administration’s account. The White House’s story might have been written by Lewis Carroll: would bin Laden, target of a massive international manhunt, really decide that a resort town forty miles from Islamabad would be the safest place to live and command al-Qaida’s operations? He was hiding in the open. So America said. The most blatant ...

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