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Frank Kermode: Angry Young Men, 28 November 2002

The Angry Young Men: A Literary Comedy of the 1950s 
by Humphrey Carpenter.
Allen Lane, 244 pp., £18.99, September 2002, 0 7139 9532 7
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... Night and Sunday Morning is surely as remarkable an achievement as any I’ve mentioned; and Keith Waterhouse, whose Billy Liar (1959) fitted the pattern of youthful male revolt so well that his quite different but still excellent earlier novel, There Is a Happy Land (1957), which didn’t fit, was soon forgotten. ...


John Sutherland, 4 June 1981

Tit for Tat 
by Verity Bargate.
Cape, 167 pp., £5.95, April 1981, 0 224 01908 2
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Watching Me, Watching You 
by Fay Weldon.
Hodder, 208 pp., £6.95, May 1981, 0 340 25600 1
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Maggie Muggins 
by Keith Waterhouse.
Joseph, 220 pp., £6.95, May 1981, 0 7181 2014 0
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Mr Lonely 
by Eric Morecambe.
Eyre Methuen, 189 pp., £5.95, March 1981, 0 413 48170 0
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... frustrated or diverted by there being so few current outlets for the ambitious short-story writer. Keith Waterhouse’s new novel adds another to his gallery of engaging social inadequates like Jubb and Billy Fisher. It also neatly crosses his favourite Northern Midland hero with the up-to-the-minute London of his recently successful Office Life. Maggie ...

Saint Jane

D.A.N. Jones, 20 October 1983

The Good Father 
by Peter Prince.
Cape, 204 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 224 02131 1
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Mrs Pooter’s Diary 
by Keith Waterhouse and John Jensen.
Joseph, 208 pp., £7.95, October 1983, 0 7181 2339 5
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Dandiprat’s Days 
by David Thomson.
Dent, 165 pp., £8.50, September 1983, 0 460 04613 6
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The Dream of a Beast 
by Neil Jordan.
Chatto, 103 pp., £6.95, October 1983, 0 7011 2740 6
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Squeak: A Biography of NPA 1978A 203 
by John Bowen and Eric Fraser.
Faber, 127 pp., £2.95, October 1983, 0 571 13170 0
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The Life and Times of Michael K 
by J.M. Coetzee.
Secker, 250 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 436 10297 8
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... drawings with black railway smoke and a suggestion of alcoholic fumes. He is supporting Waterhouse’s suggestion that sensible Carrie’s diary is ever so slightly mad. Perhaps all diarists expose a sort of madness in themselves. The diary of raving-mad Daniel Pratt, Dandiprat’s Days, is a source of surprisingly innocent merriment – for ...

What’s going on, Eric?

David Renton: Rock Against Racism, 22 November 2018

Walls Come Tumbling Down: The Music and Politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge 
by Daniel Rachel.
Picador, 589 pp., £12.99, May 2017, 978 1 4472 7268 7
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... the second carnival was every bit as exciting as the first. ‘If it is all a Trot conspiracy,’ Keith Waterhouse told the Daily Mirror, ‘tough luck on the conventional political parties who play it all so safe and down the middle that they have the popular appeal of yesterday’s gravy.’ But the event was partly overshadowed by a National Front ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2009, 7 January 2010

... it easier to believe if the reporter had been from the Yorkshire Evening Post – the newspaper Keith Waterhouse first worked on as a reporter. So while Red Riding seems like gritty realism it is in this respect quite romantic, as romantic and fanciful as the stories told at the other end of the social and geographical scale in Midsomer Murders. In ...

A Cure for Arthritis and Other Tales

Alan Bennett, 2 November 2000

... R.A.H. Livett, the Director of Housing, names that I remember and which I see Leeds-born Keith Waterhouse, slightly older than I am, remembers too. They were the municipal pillars of my youthful Leeds world, their names as constant and unchanging as Tyrrell of Avon, the film censor whose certificate preceded every film one ever saw; or ...

Medes and Persians

Paul Foot: The Government’s Favourite Accountants, 2 November 2000

... by Ernst and Young, sued Touche Ross; over BCCI, Touche Ross sued Ernst and Young and Price Waterhouse. Over Atlantic Computers, Price Waterhouse sued Touche Ross. Over Wallace Smith, KPMG sued Coopers and Lybrand. Over London United Investments, Price Waterhouse sued KPMG. Over ...

A Regular Grey

Jonathan Parry, 3 December 2020

Statesman of Europe: a Life of Sir Edward Grey 
by T.G. Otte.
Allen Lane, 858 pp., £35, November, 978 0 241 41336 4
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... read.As a biography, it has two particularly odd features when compared with its predecessors by Keith Robbins and Michael Waterhouse. One is a lack of interest in Grey’s personal life. Aged 23, Grey married Dorothy Widdrington; after their honeymoon, she told him that she disliked sex. Otte’s response is to stress ...


Alan Bennett: Allelujah!, 3 January 2019

... This is how I remember my early days working for the BBC in the 1960s. John Fortune, John Bird, Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall: we were all such boys too and it seemed such play. Less play was Beyond the Fringe, but that had its sillier side. Dudley Moore had an act – never, I think, done in public – about a patient in hospital calling the nurse ...

Alas! Deceived

Alan Bennett: Philip Larkin, 25 March 1993

Philip Larkin: A Writer’s Life 
by Andrew Motion.
Faber, 570 pp., £20, April 1993, 0 571 15174 4
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... like a Fifties novel of provincial life, though not one written by him so much as by John Wain or Keith Waterhouse. Indeed Ruth sounds (or Larkin makes her sound) like Billy Liar’s unsatisfactory girlfriend, whose snog-inhibiting Jaffa Billy hurls to the other end of the cemetery. Having laid out a grand total of 15s. 7d. on an evening with ...

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