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Hooray Hen-Wees

John Christensen: Pinochet’s Millions, 6 October 2005

Capitalism’s Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System 
by Raymond Baker.
Wiley, 438 pp., £16.99, September 2005, 0 471 64488 9
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... which include the problems of capital flight and tax evasion. In Capitalism’s Achilles Heel, Raymond Baker probably errs on the conservative side in his estimate that the flows of dirty money from poorer countries into offshore accounts managed by Western banks are currently $500 billion annually. Corruption, which attracted so much media attention ...

No Tricks

Frank Kermode: Raymond Carver, 19 October 2000

Call If You Need Me: The Uncollected Fiction and Prose 
by Raymond Carver.
Harvill, 300 pp., £15, July 2000, 1 86046 759 8
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... Raymond Carver was much taken with the idea that every writer creates a distinctive world: ‘Every great or even very good writer makes the world over according to his own specifications … It is his world and no other.’ The idea is hardly original but one sees why he liked it. Carver’s world is something like a room in which the television is always on, unless you happen to be subjecting the neighbours to home movies ...

Other Things

J.I.M. Stewart, 2 February 1984

Soor Hearts 
by Robert Alan Jamieson.
Paul Harris, 166 pp., £6.95, January 1984, 0 86228 072 9
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The Life and Loves of a She-Devil 
by Fay Weldon.
Hodder, 240 pp., £8.95, January 1984, 9780340332283
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by Raymond Carver.
Collins, 230 pp., £8.95, January 1984, 0 00 222790 8
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The Cannibal Galaxy 
by Cynthia Ozick.
Secker, 162 pp., £7.95, January 1984, 0 436 35483 7
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The Collected Works of Jane Bowles 
introduced by Truman Capote.
Peter Owen, 476 pp., £10.95, January 1984, 0 7206 0613 6
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Let it come down 
by Paul Bowles.
Peter Owen, 318 pp., £8.95, January 1984, 0 7206 0614 4
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... books are by American writers. ‘The Train’ is one of the shortest of the 12 stories in Raymond Carver’s Cathedral. It begins: ‘The woman was called Miss Dent, and earlier that evening she’d held a gun at a man. She’d made him get down in the dirt and plead for his life.’ We learn nothing more about Miss Dent, except that now in the small ...

Michael Gove recommends …

Robert Hanks: Dennis Wheatley, 20 January 2011

The Devil Is a Gentleman: The Life and Times of Dennis Wheatley 
by Phil Baker.
Dedalus, 699 pp., £25, October 2009, 978 1 903517 75 8
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... in his lifetime is widely accepted, though the basis for it is elusive – the only source Phil Baker cites in his exhaustive biography is Wheatley’s own memoirs, and Wheatley was a relentless self-aggrandiser; but it sounds about right. In the mid-1960s, three decades into his career, he had 55 books in print, which collectively accounted for one seventh ...

At the V&A

Peter Campbell: Art Deco, 17 April 2003

... A film clip from the mid-1920s of Josephine Baker dancing, looking as pleased as any extrovert four-year-old to be showing what she can do with her feather skirt and pretty body, is the happiest thing in the V&A Art Deco exhibition. She jokes with you. She has fun.Other good things in the exhibition suggest, as her act does, that the right style can make good times better – whether on a streamlined train, an ocean liner or in a glitzy nightclub ...

Gaslight and Fog

John Pemble: Sherlock Holmes, 26 January 2012

The Ascent of the Detective: Police Sleuths in Victorian and Edwardian England 
by Haia Shpayer-Makov.
Oxford, 429 pp., £30, September 2011, 978 0 19 957740 8
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... the landladies who wanted to keep house for him when he retired, the tourists who came to Baker Street looking for his lodgings: these are more than mythical, they are legendary. And addicts who know he’s fictive pretend that they don’t. There’s a whole archive of mock research in pseudo-academic publications dedicated to his life and work. In ...

Across the Tellyverse

Jenny Turner: Daleks v. Cybermen, 22 June 2006

Doctor Who 
BBC1Show More
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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... from William Hartnell (1963-66) to Patrick Troughton (1966-69), to Jon Pertwee (1970-74), to Tom Baker (1974-82). Baker is the one everyone remembers, for demographic reasons and because he did it longest, but also because he did it best, animating a Doctor who, as Newman says, ‘thought and felt too fast for any other ...


David Gascoyne: Notebook, New Year 1991, 25 January 1996

... losing grip and my attention. Off to bed. Wednesday 9: Collapse of Geneva Peace talks. James Baker and Bush are determined to teach Saddam Hussein ‘a terrible lesson’. Alan Jenkins of TLS rang up at 7.15 p.m. to suggest I write article on two exhibitions in London next month: Man Ray photos at Barbican, Max Ernst at Tate. Thursday 10: Ron Stocker to ...

Bad Dads

Zachary Leader, 6 April 1995

In Pharaoh’s Army: Memories of a Lost War 
by Tobias Wolff.
Bloomsbury, 210 pp., £12.99, November 1994, 0 7475 1919 6
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Tallien: A Brief Romance 
by Frederic Tuten.
Marion Boyars, 152 pp., £9.95, November 1994, 0 7145 2990 7
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Roommates: My Grandfather’s Story 
by Max Apple.
Little, Brown, 241 pp., £12.99, November 1994, 0 316 91241 7
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... an undistinguished career at Concrete High in Concrete, Washington, smack in the heart of Raymond Carver country). On the penultimate page of the book, he enlists in the Army, eager to embrace ‘the clear life of uniforms and ranks and weapons. It seemed to me when I got there that this was where I had been going all along, and where I might still ...

Us and Them

Robert Taubman, 4 September 1980

The Secret Servant 
by Gavin Lyall.
Hodder, 224 pp., £5.50, June 1980, 0 340 25385 1
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The Flowers of the Forest 
by Joseph Hone.
Secker, 365 pp., £5.95, July 1980, 0 436 20087 2
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A Talent to Deceive: An Appreciation of Agatha Christie 
by Robert Barnard.
Collins, 203 pp., £5.95, April 1980, 0 00 216190 7
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Enter the Lion: A Posthumus Memoir of Mycroft Holmes 
by Michael Hodel and Sean Wright.
Dent, 237 pp., £4.95, May 1980, 0 460 04483 4
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Dorothy I. Sayers: Nine Literary Studies 
by Trevor Hall.
Duckworth, 132 pp., £12.50, April 1980, 9780715614556
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Milk Dime 
by Barry Fantoni.
Hodder, 192 pp., £5.50, May 1980, 0 340 25350 9
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... and a couple of tins of beer.’ One remembers the bag of ginger biscuits Hannay bought from a baker’s van in The Thirty-Nine Steps. But mainly it’s a sense of the past that gives this story an extra dimension and makes the Wordsworth quotation sit comfortably in place. It’s true that the main reference back is to more violence, a long-range desert ...

Long Goodbye

Derek Mahon, 20 November 1980

Why Brownlee left 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 48 pp., £3, September 1980, 0 571 11592 6
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Poems 1956-1973 
by Thomas Kinsella.
Dolmen, 192 pp., £7.50, September 1980, 0 85105 365 3
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Constantly Singing 
by James Simmons.
Blackstaff, 90 pp., £3.95, June 1980, 0 85640 217 6
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A Part of Speech 
by Joseph Brodsky.
Oxford, 151 pp., £4.95, September 1980, 0 19 211939 7
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Collected poems 1931-1974 
by Lawrence Durrell.
Faber, 350 pp., £9, September 1980, 0 571 18009 4
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... You remember that village where the border ran Down the middle of the street, With the butcher and baker in different states? Today he remarked how a shower of rain Had stopped so cleanly across Golightly’s lane It might have been a wall of glass That had toppled over. He stood there for ages To wonder which side, if any, he should be on. The point of the ...

My Old, Sweet, Darling Mob

Iain Sinclair: Michael Moorcock, 30 November 2000

King of the City 
by Michael Moorcock.
Scribner, 421 pp., £9.99, May 2000, 0 684 86140 2
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Mother London 
by Michael Moorcock.
Scribner, 496 pp., £6.99, May 2000, 0 684 86141 0
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... Moorcock in the days when he was dragged along to BNP-type meetings by his editor, W. Howard Baker, ‘just for the beer’; and before he chucked his typewriter out of the office window and resigned, bunking off to a life of three-day novellas, quick money and lightning debts. Dissolve and fast-forward: now it’s an age of smooth men, of judgments ...

A Matter of Caste

Colin Kidd: Alexis de Tocqueville, 22 March 2007

Alexis de Tocqueville: Prophet of Democracy in the Age of Revolution 
by Hugh Brogan.
Profile, 724 pp., £30, December 2006, 1 86197 509 0
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... to maintain connections with a broader liberal tradition, including, in his native France, Raymond Aron and Jean-François Revel, for whom Tocqueville’s oeuvre was the sole haven of grace and trust within a canon of modern political philosophy whose prescriptions – from right as much as left – seemed to lead to mass extermination or ...

Room 6 at the Moonstone

Adam Mars-Jones: Bill Clegg, 5 November 2015

Did You Ever Have a Family 
by Bill Clegg.
Cape, 293 pp., £12.99, August 2015, 978 0 224 10235 3
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... as well as suspicion, and it flows more towards June than Lydia. In an echo and inversion of Raymond Carver’s story ‘A Small, Good Thing’, where a baker wanting to be paid for a special cake pesters the parents of a child who has been knocked down by a car before his birthday party, the caterer providing a cake ...

Sight, Sound and Sex

Adam Mars-Jones: Dana Spiotta, 17 March 2016

Innocents and Others 
by Dana Spiotta.
Scribner, 278 pp., £17.95, March 2016, 978 1 5011 2272 9
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... Land, reveal a rhythm rather than imposing one. Perhaps only Gordon Lish’s transformations of Raymond Carver’s stories impose rhythm in that way. Meadow’s first film, Portrait of Deke, made in 1987, didn’t really come together, didn’t acquire its tone or form until the editing stage. At high school, inspired by Andy Warhol’s screen tests, she ...

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