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Wham Bang, Teatime

Ian Penman: Bowie, 5 January 2017

The Age of Bowie: How David Bowie Made a World of Difference 
by Paul Morley.
Simon & Schuster, 484 pp., £20, July 2016, 978 1 4711 4808 8
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On Bowie 
by Rob Sheffield.
Headline, 197 pp., £14.99, June 2016, 978 1 4722 4104 7
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On Bowie 
by Simon Critchley.
Serpent’s Tail, 207 pp., £6.99, April 2016, 978 1 78125 745 6
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Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy 
by Simon Reynolds.
Faber, 704 pp., £25, October 2016, 978 0 571 30171 3
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... five months of negotiation to get an interview with the superstar of your choice and then you’d probably have to present your questions in advance and be babysat by three or four PR flaks and a spooky zombie-faced entourage for the whole blessed 15 minutes. In 1975, Bowie just turned up grinning, already babbling, at Crowe’s door. When Crowe got him to sit ...


David Runciman: Winners Do Drugs, 3 August 2006

Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, Balco and the Steroids Scandal That Rocked Professional Sports 
by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams.
Gotham, 332 pp., $26, March 2006, 1 59240 199 6
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... seem as slight as a child’s toy, until he connected with the ball and it arced away vast, improbable distances. McGwire didn’t look like a baseball player; he seemed to belong in American football or body-building. This was no coincidence, because we now know that, like many of the practitioners of those sports, McGwire had achieved his unusual shape ...


Alan Bennett: What I Did in 2015, 7 January 2016

... my way.15 February. Good reviews for Richard Wilson’s production of Sarah Kane’s Blasted at Sheffield. In such a violent play, though, I find myself spiked by my literalness (as I remember being by Mark Ravenhill’s Shopping and Fucking). If a character is mutilated on stage, blinded, say, or anally raped or has his or her feet eaten off by rats, the ...

The Club and the Mob

James Meek: The Shock of the News, 6 December 2018

Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now 
by Alan Rusbridger.
Canongate, 464 pp., £20, September 2018, 978 1 78689 093 1
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... secular canonisation meant for the newspaper business, then or for many years afterwards, I would probably have mulled over the tabloids’ creation of the paparazzi market that led to the crash. The pursuit of a certain kind of news killed Diana, and, grotesquely, produced more news as a result. But looking back now, the moment of reading that article was ...

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