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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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... of this point. There are other names, loosely associated with Anger – Sillitoe, whose Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is surely as remarkable an achievement as any I’ve mentioned; and KeithWaterhouse, 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 ...


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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... in fiction of this length, and that Fay Weldon’s talent, like Ian McEwan’s, has been somewhat frustrated or diverted by there being so few current outlets for the ambitious short-story writer. KeithWaterhouse’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 ...

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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... friend, Gowing, a touch too bibulous: to express her point of view, Jensen has embellished Weedon Grossmith’s 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 ...

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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... Love Music, Hate Racism” slogan all over it. Plus shades, of course.’ For many who took part, the second carnival was every bit as exciting as the first. ‘If it is all a Trot conspiracy,’ KeithWaterhouse 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 ...

Medes and Persians

Paul Foot: The Government’s Favourite Accountants

2 November 2000
... gone bust in the recession of the early 1990s. Over the Barlow Clowes fiasco, the Government, represented 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 Polly Peck, Touche ...
2 November 2000
... my childhood and youth: George Guest, the Director of Education, W. Vane Morland, the Director of Transport, R.A.H. Livett, the Director of Housing, names that I remember and which I see Leeds-born KeithWaterhouse, 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 ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2009

7 January 2010
... Comically, since in my memory the Yorkshire Post was always rather a genteel newspaper, I’d find it easier to believe if the reporter had been from the Yorkshire Evening Post – the newspaper KeithWaterhouse 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 ...

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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... and regular borrower from the library’. This period of Larkin’s life is quite touching and reads like a Fifties novel of provincial life, though not one written by him so much as by John Wain or KeithWaterhouse. 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 ...


Alan Bennett: Allelujah!

3 January 2019
... that there was no covetousness; all went into the common stock … and then we were all such boys.’ This is how I remember my early days working for the BBC in the 1960s. John Fortune, John Bird, KeithWaterhouse 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 ...

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