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Tacky Dress

Dale Peck, 22 February 1996

Like People in History: A Gay American Epic 
by Felice Picano.
Viking, 512 pp., $23.95, July 1995, 0 670 86047 6
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How Long Has This Been Going On? 
by Ethan Mordden.
Villard, 590 pp., $25, April 1995, 0 679 41529 7
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The Facts of Life 
by Patrick Gale.
Flamingo, 511 pp., £15.99, June 1995, 0 602 24522 2
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Flesh and Blood 
by Michael Cunningham.
Hamish Hamilton, 480 pp., £14.99, June 1995, 9780241135150
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... Studies; last year saw the publication of four epics: Michael Cunningham’s, Flesh and Blood, Patrick Gale’s The Facts of Life, Ethan Mordden’s How Long Has This Been Going On? And Felice Picano’s Like People in History. These last four reveal the strengths and weaknesses in this burgeoning subgenre. The cover line for Felice Picano’s Like ...


Hugh Barnes, 2 May 1985

Towards the End of the Morning 
by Michael Frayn.
Harvill, 255 pp., £9.95, April 1985, 0 00 221822 4
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Sweet Dreams 
by Michael Frayn.
Harvill, 223 pp., £9.95, April 1985, 0 00 221884 4
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The Fall of Kelvin Walker 
by Alasdair Gray.
Canongate, 144 pp., £7.95, March 1985, 9780862410728
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Lean Tales 
by James Kelman, Agnes Owens and Alasdair Gray.
Cape, 286 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 224 02262 8
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Stones for Ibarra 
by Harriet Doerr.
Deutsch, 214 pp., £8.95, April 1985, 9780233977522
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Family Dancing 
by David Leavitt.
Viking, 206 pp., £8.95, March 1985, 0 670 80263 8
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The Whitbread Stories: One 
by Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson.
Hamish Hamilton, 184 pp., £4.95, April 1985, 0 241 11544 2
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... students and a street dancer, an eye for detail and jealousy informing familiar situations. Patrick Gale returns to English farce in ‘Borneo’ to punish and amuse. Bee’s bandage-party for the Afghans breaks up after one of the guests ...

Some More Sea

Patrick O’Brian, 10 September 1992

The Oxford Book of the Sea 
edited by Jonathan Raban.
Oxford, 524 pp., £17.95, April 1992, 9780192141972
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... did so long before Addison: one has but to think of the younger Van de Velde’s Resolution in a gale, close-hauled under courses, making her way into a sea as sublime as even Turner could have wished. Then again he cites Falconer’s The Shipwreck as an epic that tries to marry the theories of Addison and Burke (‘agreeable horrour’ in the one, and in ...

Interesting Fellows

Walter Nash, 4 May 1989

The Book of Evidence 
by John Banville.
Secker, 220 pp., £10.95, March 1989, 0 436 03267 8
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by Patrick McCabe.
Aidan Ellis, 252 pp., £11.50, March 1989, 0 85628 180 8
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The Tryst 
by Michael Dibdin.
Faber, 168 pp., £10.99, April 1989, 0 571 15450 6
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by James Hamilton-Paterson.
Macmillan, 264 pp., £12.95, March 1989, 0 333 45194 5
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... how intemperate passions are rooted in a heavy loam of the commonplace and the customary. In Carn, Patrick McCabe describes three decades in the life of a small Irish community. Carn is a small town situated half a mile from the Irish border, a town honoured in Republican annals for the heroism of Commandant Matt Dolan, shot dead in 1922 during a raid on the ...

Après Brexit

Ferdinand Mount, 20 February 2020

... as members of the customs union and the single market?Free trade zealots such as the economist Patrick Minford are happy to say in public that they wouldn’t mind seeing large parts of the British agriculture and automotive industries disappear so long as there was a net increase in national wealth. This is not, I think, what voters in Sunderland and ...

The Best Stuff

Ian Jack: David Astor, 2 June 2016

David Astor: A Life in Print 
by Jeremy Lewis.
Cape, 400 pp., £25, March 2016, 978 0 224 09090 2
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... he didn’t find gifted or amusing enough. Among the first of the non-plumbers to arrive was Patrick O’Donovan, a red-faced, hard-living Irishman (Ampleforth, Christ Church and war service with the Irish Guards) who came on the recommendation of the diplomat Nico Henderson. He had never published a word in his life, but within a few years had acquired ...

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