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Thomas Jones: What’s in a name?, 19 October 2000

... to be the endowment of ‘the late Dr D.M. McDonald, a well-known and successful industrialist’. Louis deBernières, presumably the Louis deBernières who wrote Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, has written an indignant letter to the ...

But Little Bequalmed

Christopher Tayler: Louis deBernières’s Decency, 2 September 2004

Birds without Wings 
by Louis deBernières.
Secker, 625 pp., £17.99, July 2004, 0 436 20549 1
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... elders smoke in ‘exemplary and companionable silence’. At this point, it’s clear that Louis deBernières is back in business, preparing to depict a few ‘incandescent and illicit moments’ of tenderness among the ‘banal but vile atrocities’ of history’s ‘prolonged and atrocious holocaust’. This ...

Everyone’s Pal

John Sutherland: Louis deBernières, 13 December 2001

Red Dog 
by Louis deBernières.
Secker, 119 pp., £10, October 2001, 0 436 25617 7
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Sunday Morning at the Centre of the World 
by Louis deBernières.
Vintage, 119 pp., £6.99, October 2001, 9780099428442
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... Who would have expected Louis deBernières to follow up Captain Corelli’s Mandolin with the soft-centred biography of a lovable pooch? Red Dog could be seen as a reversion to national type – the English, Nabokov witheringly remarked, feel sorry for the blind man’s dog ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: New Writing, 8 March 2001

... Anne Stevenson, Alan Brownjohn, Helen Simpson, Andrew Motion, Michael Hofmann, Alan Sillitoe, Louis deBernières and Geoff Dyer are ten of them, and ‘new’ isn’t the first word that springs to mind. But there are plenty of good reasons, too obvious to need repeating, for the inclusion of well-known ...

On the Salieri Express

John Sutherland, 24 September 1992

Doctor Criminale 
by Malcolm Bradbury.
Secker, 343 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 436 20115 1
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The Promise of Light 
by Paul Watkins.
Faber, 217 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 571 16715 2
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The Absolution Game 
by Paul Sayer.
Constable, 204 pp., £13.99, June 1992, 0 09 471460 6
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The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman 
by Louis deBernières.
Secker, 388 pp., £14.99, August 1992, 0 436 20114 3
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Written on the Body 
by Jeanette Winterson.
Cape, 190 pp., £13.99, September 1992, 0 224 03587 8
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... on that worthy series. He is revealed as the most treasonable of clerks, a compound of Waldheim, de Man, Harry Lime and Lukacs. Thematically, Doctor Criminale shapes up as a kind of post-Maastricht version of Henry James’s international theme: English ingenuousness discovers corruption beneath the seductive surfaces of European civilisation. For all ...


John Sutherland, 8 July 1993

Air and Fire 
by Rupert Thomson.
Bloomsbury, 310 pp., £15.99, April 1993, 0 7475 1382 1
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Dreams of Leaving 
by Rupert Thomson.
Penguin, 435 pp., £6.99, April 1993, 0 14 017148 7
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The Five Gates of Hell 
by Rupert Thomson.
Penguin, 368 pp., £5.99, March 1992, 0 14 016537 1
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... genre which is currently enjoying a little golden age. Air and Fire, like recent novels by Louis deBernières and Nicholas Shakespeare, conveys a powerful sense of faraway places. As with de Bernières and Shakespeare, Thomson’s traveller’s tale gravitates to the ...

Flame-Broiled Whopper

Theo Tait: Salman Rushdie, 6 October 2005

Shalimar the Clown 
by Salman Rushdie.
Cape, 398 pp., £17.99, September 2005, 0 224 06161 5
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... see the tedious fables of Jeanette Winterson, or the eccentric but warm-hearted villagers of Louis deBernières. These days, magic realism is deservedly out of fashion. But it’s worth remembering that it has been one of the great styles of the last fifty years. When executed with intelligence, subtlety and ...

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