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6 December 1990
Stick it up your punter! The Rise and Fall of the ‘Sun’ 
by Peter Chippindale and Chris Horrie.
Heinemann, 372 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 0 434 12624 1
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All played out: The True Story of Italia ’90 
by Pete Davies.
Heinemann, 471 pp., £14.99, October 1990, 0 434 17908 6
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Gazza! A Biography 
by Robin McGibbon.
Penguin, 204 pp., £3.99, October 1990, 9780140148688
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... precipitated a two-vote swing from Mrs Thatcher to her opponent? What a wonderful piece of thematic symmetry, if the paper that did so much to help her finally and inadvertently helped do her in. PeteDavies’s lively book, All played out, shows part of the high price our polity is paying for the behaviour of newspapers like the Sun. The book tells the story of the England football team’s ...
5 May 1988
Regulating the City: Competition, Scandal and Reform 
by Michael Clarke.
Open University, 288 pp., £25, May 1986, 9780335153817
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Regulating fraud: White-Collar Crime and the Criminal Process 
by Michael Levi.
Tavistock, 416 pp., £35, August 1987, 0 422 61160 3
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... and accumulation and the appearance, on a broad front, of the reality of public neglect. This is a prospect which has been discussed – in semifictionalised, prophetic fashion – in the novels of PeteDavies, Dick Morland and others,3 and it is also an operative assumption of the controversial films of Stephen Frears and Hanif Kureishi and of Steve Bell’s Maggie’s Farm cartoons. It may be that ...
19 December 1985
Elvis and Me 
by Priscilla Beaulieu Presley and Sandra Harman.
Century, 320 pp., £9.95, October 1985, 0 7126 1131 2
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Are you lonesome tonight? 
by Alan Bleasdale.
Faber, 95 pp., £3.95, September 1985, 0 571 13732 6
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Elvis and Gladys 
by Elaine Dundy.
Weidenfeld, 353 pp., £12.95, April 1985, 9780297782100
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The Johnny Cash Discography 
by John Smith.
Greenwood, 203 pp., £29.95, May 1985, 0 313 24654 8
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Horse’s Neck 
by Pete​ Townshend.
Faber, 95 pp., £6.95, May 1985, 9780571138739
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Like Punk Never Happened 
by Dave Rimmer.
Faber, 191 pp., £4.95, October 1985, 0 571 13739 3
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Starlust: The Secret Fantasies of Fans 
by Fred Vermorel and Judy Vermorel.
Comet, 253 pp., £4.95, August 1985, 0 86379 004 6
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The Beatles 
by Hunter Davies.
Cape, 498 pp., £12.95, December 1985, 0 224 02837 5
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... the Beatles and the Rolling Stones who graduated from the British R&B circuit before them. It was, incidentally, as much the lunatic behaviour of their drummer, the late and lamented Keith Moon, as Pete Townshend’s songs of adolescent rebellion that won them column inches. Moon was juvenile, a jester from Wembley who delighted in pranks. But the group was remarkable for other things. While the ...

Across the Tellyverse

Jenny Turner: Daleks v. Cybermen

22 June 2006
Doctor Who 
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Doctor Who: A Critical Reading of the Series 
by Kim Newman.
BFI, 138 pp., £12, December 2005, 1 84457 090 8
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... content to re-engage audiences in primetime TV entertainment’, and clearly, Doctor Who is central to such a strategy. The chief writer and executive producer on the new Doctor Who is Russell T. Davies, the Welsh writer previously known for Queer as Folk (1999), Channel 4’s energetic, unusually active drama about young gay men in Manchester, and for the view, as expressed to a journalist, that ...

Even If You Have to Starve

Ian Penman: Mod v. Trad

29 August 2013
Mod: A Very British Style 
by Richard Weight.
Bodley Head, 478 pp., £25, April 2013, 978 0 224 07391 2
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... easy to pin down. What they were was awfully odd from the get-go, their echoic lack of definition precisely why they were so singular at the time and still sound so convulsively fresh today. If Ray Davies was a Mod, it was only one of many pre-emptive masks he sported. (And ‘sported’ is definitely the word.) The Union Jack draped around the Kinks was thorny collage not breezy appliqué. Beneath ...
22 January 1987
Other Passports: Poems 1958-1985 
by Clive James.
Cape, 221 pp., £9.95, November 1986, 0 224 02422 1
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... song text which he inherited as much from the Caroline poets, Rochester and Auden as from Broadway and rock music. Literary critics have not taken kindly to the several albums of songs he wrote with Pete Atkin, and I don’t feel able to assess them myself. But this indifference has been largely an averting of eyes from what we understand only partly and a turning of our gaze to the many other ...
22 May 1986
The Lamberts: George, Constant and Kit 
by Andrew Motion.
Chatto, 388 pp., £13.95, April 1986, 0 7011 2731 7
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... of Sibelius as avatar of the music of the future: yet Sibelius’s symphonic form-building is seen more clearly in its originality, and is more widely influential today than ever before (Maxwell Davies is much preoccupied in his recent work with Sibelius). Lambert’s high, perceptive estimation of Kurt Weill (‘almost the only composer who can evoke in music the odd, untidy, drably tragic ...

Dialect does it

Blake Morrison

5 December 1985
No Mate for the Magpie 
by Frances Molloy.
Virago, 170 pp., £7.95, April 1985, 0 86068 594 2
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The Mysteries 
by Tony Harrison.
Faber, 229 pp., £9.95, August 1985, 9780571137893
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Ukulele Music 
by Peter Reading.
Secker, 103 pp., £3.95, June 1985, 0 436 40986 0
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Hard Lines 2 
edited by Ian Dury, Pete​ Townshend, Alan Bleasdale and Fanny Dubes.
Faber, 95 pp., £2.50, June 1985, 0 571 13542 0
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No Holds Barred: The Raving Beauties choose new poems by women 
edited by Anna Carteret, Fanny Viner and Sue Jones-Davies.
Women’s Press, 130 pp., £2.95, June 1985, 0 7043 3963 3
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Katerina Brac 
by Christopher Reid.
Faber, 47 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 571 13614 1
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Skevington’s Daughter 
by Oliver Reynolds.
Faber, 88 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 571 13697 4
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Rhondda Tenpenn’orth 
by Oliver Reynolds.
10 pence
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Trio 4 
by Andrew Elliott, Leon McAuley and Ciaran O’Driscoll.
Blackstaff, 69 pp., £3.95, May 1985, 0 85640 333 4
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Mama Dot 
by Fred D’Aguiar.
Chatto, 48 pp., £3.95, August 1985, 0 7011 2957 3
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The Dread Affair: Collected Poems 
by Benjamin Zephaniah.
Arena, 112 pp., £2.95, August 1985, 9780099392507
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Long Road to Nowhere 
by Amryl Johnson.
Virago, 64 pp., £2.95, July 1985, 0 86068 687 6
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Mangoes and Bullets 
by John Agard.
Pluto, 64 pp., £3.50, August 1985, 0 7453 0028 6
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Ragtime in Unfamiliar Bars 
by Ron Butlin.
Secker, 51 pp., £3.95, June 1985, 0 436 07810 4
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True Confessions and New Clichés 
by Liz Lochhead.
Polygon, 135 pp., £3.95, July 1985, 0 904919 90 0
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Works in the Inglis Tongue 
by Peter Davidson.
Three Tygers Press, 17 pp., £2.50, June 1985
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Wild Places: Poems in Three Leids 
by William Neill.
Luath, 200 pp., £5, September 1985, 0 946487 11 1
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... Poetry written in dialect seems to be undergoing a resurgence. Tony Harrison has made extensive use of Northern idioms. Tom Paulin has been busy raiding Ulster (and, I suspect, Scottish) dictionaries. Craig Raine has produced a manifesto, ‘Babylonish Dialects’, on dialect’s behalf. And several of the books under review here – by Scots, Welshmen and British West Indians – cannot be read without ...

Was Ma Hump to blame?

John Sutherland: Aldous Huxley

11 July 2002
Aldous Huxley: An English Intellectual 
by Nicholas Murray.
Little, Brown, 496 pp., £20, April 2002, 0 316 85492 1
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TheCat's Meow 
directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
April 2002
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... Livingston, the journalist (then a Hollywood unknown) Louella Parsons, the novelist Elinor Glyn, some goodtime girls and the usual hangers-on. Also there was the tycoon’s young mistress, Marion Davies. Hearst, notoriously possessive, suspected Chaplin, notoriously promiscuous, of fishing in his private waters (with good reason, Bogdanovich suggests). The great man may have set up the party on the ...

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