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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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... is that by the time we get to the end of the book we have learned more about Morley than we have about Bowie. Still, at least it possesses a nutty, Maileresque kind of grande ambition, whereas RobSheffield’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 ...

Juiced

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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... 99 that it was merely the result of all the extra hours he had been putting in down the gym. Bonds was 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 ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I Did in 2015

7 January 2016
... we decidedly are not, twenty years after it was bestowed still the greatest honour that could have come 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 ...

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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... significant, if dwindling, numbers of readers and advertisers remain loyal. Smaller local newspapers, 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 ...

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