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I have not heard her voice in a long, long time

Thomas Powers: Edna and Parker Ford, 5 October 2017

Between Them 
by Richard Ford.
Bloomsbury, 175 pp., £12.99, May 2017, 978 0 06 266188 3
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... disappears when you look inward. The chaos within is one of the major themes in the fiction of Richard Ford. What engages him is the churning of the conscious self, as changeable as the weather on an iffy day. What kind of a day is such a day? Soft or threatening? What kind of people were Ford’s mother and father, whose inner lives might offer strong ...

Short Cuts

Daniel Soar: Sokal 2.0, 25 October 2018

... by the loos plaintively reads: MIAMI, 4378 MILES —>.) The ethnography of Hooters culture by ‘Richard Baldwin’ – one of the collaborators’ pseudonyms, actually the borrowed name of one of their friends, a 71-year-old former champion bodybuilder and emeritus professor of the humanities at Gulf Coast State College – is full of quiet, plausible ...

Biting Habits

Hugh Pennington: The Zika Virus, 18 February 2016

... two Aedes aegypti in Mexico’.) An eradication programme started in 1964 in Texas and southern Florida, but little enthusiasm was shown by politicians, public health professionals or the public: the money, they said, could be better spent. The programme was finally brought to an end after the election of Richard Nixon, a ...

At the Carlton Club

Andrew O’Hagan: Maggie, Denis and Mandy, 2 January 2020

... third volume of Charles Moore’s Thatcher biography, and I would urge anybody who likes a bit of Richard II with their morning coffee to read the last two hundred pages straightaway. Thatcher’s downfall, we know, was a coup de théâtre if ever there was one, but the book is also very telling about the duplicity of certain friends and the trauma of lost ...

Subject, Spectator, Phantom

J. Hoberman: The Strangest Personality Ever to Lead the Free World, 17 February 2005

Nixon at the Movies: A Book about Belief 
by Mark Feeney.
Chicago, 422 pp., £19.50, November 2004, 0 226 23968 3
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... bloody escapes; middle-class students planted bombs and robbed banks. In August that year, Richard Nixon took a break from a four-day conference on crime control to address reporters. His subject was the spell that outlaw behaviour had apparently cast on the youth of America. In a characteristically sideways rhetorical manoeuvre, he began with a ...

At the Shore

Inigo Thomas, 30 August 2018

... Brighton had several, and became the epitome of the beach. ‘You hear nothing and see nothing,’ Richard Jeffries wrote of Brighton’s beach in The Open Air (1885): It is perfectly comfortable, perfectly jolly and exhilarating, a preferable spot to any other. A sparkle of sunshine on the breakers, a dazzling gleam from the white foam, a warm sweet ...

Sir Norman Foster’s Favourite Building

Graham Coster, 11 March 1993

Wide Body: The Making of the 747 
by Clive Irving.
Hodder, 384 pp., £17.99, February 1993, 0 340 53487 7
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... their home airfield when the undercarriage gave way on landing. When the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richard talks dismissively about ‘Brabazon bands’ he is alluding to an ill-fated post-war British airliner. A rock band can be beautiful to look at, sound as sleek and smooth as you like, the gnarled Richard is saying, but ...

Why Not Eat an Eclair?

David Runciman: Why Vote?, 9 October 2008

Free Riding 
by Richard Tuck.
Harvard, 223 pp., £22.95, June 2008, 978 0 674 02834 0
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... be unaffected by your failure to show up, even if you happen to live in a swing state like Ohio or Florida. If Obama is winning the state, he will do perfectly well without you; if he is losing, there is nothing you can do to help him get over the line, because the winning line will always be further away than your paltry individual vote. Either way, you are ...

Tinkering

Mark Greif: Walt Disney, 7 June 2007

Walt Disney: The Biography 
by Neal Gabler.
Aurum, 766 pp., £25, May 2007, 978 1 84513 277 4
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The Animated Man: A Life of Walt Disney 
by Michael Barrier.
California, 393 pp., £18.95, April 2007, 978 0 520 24117 6
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Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson 
by Tom Sito.
Kentucky, 440 pp., £19.95, September 2006, 0 8131 2407 7
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... in Colorado, farmer in Kansas, hotel proprietor and orange-grove owner and mail carrier in Florida’, as the historian Steven Watts records it, before five more cross-country moves in Walt’s lifetime. The son was made to earn money for the family, carrying newspapers, selling on the railroads, even peddling butter to his rich ...

Zoning Out and In

Christopher Tayler: Richard Ford, 30 November 2006

The Lay of the Land 
by Richard Ford.
Bloomsbury, 485 pp., £17.99, October 2006, 0 7475 8188 6
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... last section, he impulsively high-tails it out of Haddam and ends up in a rented condo in Florida, all plans on hold. Will he be a sportswriter again? ‘I haven’t the slightest idea.’ Yet Frank is not gloomy. Despite his acknowledged efforts ‘to deflect the pain of terrible regret’ through improbable actions, he makes the most of things. He ...

So long, Lalitha

James Lever: Franzen’s Soap Opera, 7 October 2010

Freedom 
by Jonathan Franzen.
Fourth Estate, 562 pp., £20, September 2010, 978 0 00 726975 4
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... player. Here she meets the dweeby, good-hearted Walter Berglund and his charismatic best friend Richard Katz, lead singer and guitarist of art-punk band the Traumatics. Richard loves Walter because of his moral seriousness; Walter loves Richard because everyone does, including ...

Going Postal

Zachary Leader, 5 October 1995

The Paperboy 
by Pete Dexter.
Viking, 307 pp., £15, May 1995, 0 670 86066 2
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Third and Indiana 
by Steve Lopez.
Viking, 305 pp., £10.99, April 1995, 0 670 86132 4
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... star reporter on the Miami Times. Jack self-destructs in his first year at the University of Florida, returning in shame to the narcotic routines of his father’s home in North Florida, driving a delivery truck for the Moat County Tribune, his father’s newspaper. Ward, too, disappears into his work, into ...

The Obdurate Knoll

Colin Kidd: The Obdurate Knoll, 1 December 2011

Then Everything Changed: Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics: JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford, Reagan 
by Jeff Greenfield.
Putnam, 434 pp., £20.25, March 2011, 978 0 399 15706 6
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11.22.63 
by Stephen King.
Hodder, 740 pp., £19.99, November 2011, 978 1 4447 2729 6
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... All this had been uncannily predicted on the eve of the assassination. The American historian Richard Hofstadter’s influential essay ‘The Paranoid Style in American Politics’ was given as the Herbert Spencer Lecture at Oxford on 21 November 1963. Hofstadter’s subject was the irrational underside of American political culture, where ill-defined ...

What the Public Most Wants to See

Christopher Tayler: Rick Moody, 23 February 2006

The Diviners 
by Rick Moody.
Faber, 567 pp., £12.99, January 2006, 0 571 22946 8
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... schedules, it mixes a story of booze, adultery and heartbreak that wouldn’t be out of place in a Richard Yates novel with free-floating semiotic scrutiny of American capitalism. Moody makes a show of listening to the distant ‘opera of economics’ while cracking nostalgic jokes about outdated trends and products, but his elaborate descriptions of ...

More aggressive, dear!

Zachary Leader, 31 July 1997

My Aces, My Faults 
by Nick Bollettieri and Dick Schaap.
Robson, 346 pp., £17.95, June 1997, 1 86105 087 9
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... men in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon? Twenty-four hours earlier, Tim Henman had beaten Richard Krajicek, last year’s winner and the No. 4 seed. In his first match Greg Rusedski had eliminated Mark Philippousis, winner at Queen’s and the No. 7 seed. Although both Britons (Rusedski was raised in Canada but his mother is British) had already ...

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