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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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... about Bowie. Still, at least it possesses a nutty, Maileresque kind of grande ambition, whereas Rob Sheffield’s On Bowie reads more like a series of affably intimate blog entries. (You can get an idea of Sheffield’s jauntily faux-naïf tone from the titles of two of his previous studies: Talking to Girls about ...

Too Big to Shut Down

Chal Ravens: Rave On, 7 March 2024

Party Lines: Dance Music and the Making of Modern Britain 
by Ed Gillett.
Picador, 464 pp., £20, August 2023, 978 1 5290 7064 4
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... mostly for breach of the peace and drug offences. Only eight were eventually charged; one DJ, Rob Tissera, was sentenced to three months for inciting a riot and the ‘dishonest abstraction of electricity’. The raid capped two years of escalating tension between ravers and the police. Acid house had exploded in 1987, the year Ecstasy started to become ...


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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... almost puritanical about the work ethic implied by a steroid regime: when he put his friend Gary Sheffield of the Atlanta Braves onto the Balco programme, he expected him to respect the nature of the commitment involved; when Sheffield started missing Bonds’s 6 a.m. wake-up calls and avoiding trips to the gym in order to ...


Alan Bennett: Selling my hair on eBay, 6 January 2022

... Rudyard Kipling (from ‘Epitaphs of the War 1914-18’):I could not dig: I dared not rob:Therefore I lied to please the mob.Now all my lies are proved untrueAnd I must face the men I slew.What tale shall serve me here amongMine angry and defrauded young?3 June, Yorkshire. A lovely dinner last night: poached sole, dauphinoise potatoes, fresh broad ...


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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... unable to impress the rest of the world with their deep knowledge of affairs in Des Moines or Sheffield, have suffered badly as their print circulations collapsed, and as the advertisers they relied on – estate agents, car dealerships, local retailers, already chainifying and consolidating anyway – migrated to search engines and aggregator ...

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