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Jesus Christie

Richard Wollheim

3 October 1985
J.T. Christie: A Great Teacher 
by Donald Lindsay, Roger Young and Hugh Lloyd-Jones.
Plume, 211 pp., £12.50, September 1984, 0 947656 00 6
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... silent child in large groups at expensive restaurants. Andrew was very emotional, and he threw books at boys whose loutish views enraged him – though never very hard. Once he was knocked out when young Ribbentrop hurled back a Latin grammar and hit him on the forehead. When I arrived at Westminster, the headmaster was the Reverend Harold Costley-White. He was a large, extremely handsome man, silver ...

Underparts

Nicholas Spice

6 November 1986
Roger’s Version 
by John Updike.
Deutsch, 316 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 233 97988 3
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The Voyeur 
by Alberto Moravia, translated by Tim Parks.
Secker, 186 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 436 28721 8
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Dvorak in Love 
by Josef Skvorecky, translated by Paul Wilson.
Chatto, 322 pp., £10.95, September 1986, 0 7011 2994 8
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Moments of Reprieve 
by Primo Levi, translated by Ruth Feldman.
Joseph, 172 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 7181 2726 9
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... Darryl Van Horne’s bottom: how, at the end of a game of tennis, Darryl dropped his shorts and thrust his hairy rump into his partner’s face, demanding that she kiss it, which she did. In Roger’s Version the roles are reversed. Now it is a young woman – Verna Ekelof – who exposes herself. She is standing only a few inches from where her uncle, Roger Lambert, is sitting, so that when ...

Dangerous Faults

Frank Kermode

4 November 1993
Shear 
by Tim Parks.
Heinemann, 214 pp., £13.99, August 1993, 0 434 57745 6
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... plotting; it could be called ventriloquy, an unusual power to assume appropriate voices. Thinking of the earlier books, one might have been content to speak merely of control of tone. In Loving Roger, for instance, the narrator is a young woman, Anna, though there are interpolated diary passages and letters by her young man. In this book the pleasure of the big bang at the end is renounced, or ...
15 September 1988
Europe and the Mystique of Islam 
by Maxime Rodinson, translated by Roger​ Veinus.
Tauris, 163 pp., £19.50, April 1988, 1 85043 104 3
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The Political Language of Islam 
by Bernard Lewis.
Chicago, 168 pp., £11.95, July 1988, 0 226 47692 8
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Islam and Revolution in the Middle East 
by Henry Munson.
Yale, 180 pp., £15.95, June 1988, 0 300 04127 6
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... John McCarthy among others; by the hijackers of the Kuwaiti plane in April, and of the TWA plane in 1985, when an American Navy diver was brutally murdered – an act for which Mohammed Ali Hamadi, a young Lebanese Shi’ite, is currently on trial in Frankfurt. The prospect of an end to the Gulf War may ease Muslim anger but is unlikely to end it. It sometimes seems that militant Islam was spawned by ...

Diary

Nicolas Freeling: On Missing the Detective Story

11 June 1992
... juggernaut was there to make the message felt. The heap of Crime Club volumes is now an Assyrian monument; would make a fine pyramid of skulls but who would be bothered? ‘Who cares who killed Roger Ackroyd?’ shouted Edmund Wilson, exasperated, but it would barely be a mutter today. For who, sleepless in the guest bedroom in even the dankest of shires, is going to pounce gleefully upon Freeman ...
11 March 1993
The Long Night of White Chickens 
by Francisco Goldman.
Faber, 450 pp., £14.99, January 1993, 0 571 16098 0
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... One of the more disarming sentences in Francisco Goldman’s impressive first novel comes near the end, when his hero-narrator, Roger Graetz, takes a bus journey up into the Guatemalan highlands and stops off in a village just as the Indians are packing up their market in a dirt plaza. Brooding over what he knows about the village ...
6 July 1989
Talking Blues: The Police in their Own Words 
by Roger​ Graef.
Collins Harvill, 512 pp., £15, May 1989, 0 00 272436 7
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... of the good old days – which were, in fact, bad. There has nonetheless been a decisive shift in the attitudes of the British Police in recent years – almost all of it for the worse. I recall as a young reporter in Scotland covering the case of a teenage boy who had been beaten up by a policeman in Thurso, which is near John o’Groats. There was the most fearful hullabaloo based on the belief that ...

Diary

John Sutherland: Sad Professor

18 February 1999
An Intelligent Person's Guide to Modern Culture 
by Roger​ Scruton.
Duckworth, 152 pp., £14.95, November 1998, 0 7156 2870 4
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... Like Diogenes in his tub, Roger Scruton has stripped himself of his professorship of aesthetics to rail, ungowned, against the age in which fate has deposited him. Scruton’s opposition to the times has two current manifestations ...
25 November 1999
The Deprat Affair: Ambition, Revenge and Deceit in French Indochina 
by Roger​ Osborne.
Cape, 244 pp., £15.99, October 1999, 0 224 05295 0
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... On 23 May 1909, Jacques Deprat left France for Hanoi with his young family to start a career as a geologist in the Service Géologique de l’Indochine. His advancement had been won against the odds. His beginnings were humble, if respectable, and he had progressed ...

Dogs

Fiona Pitt-Kethley

13 June 1991
... Young men, like pups, can be somewhat unformed. Unless you’re certain of their pedigree, it’s hard to see how they’ll mature and grow. (Alsatians will fuck dachshunds now and then.) A man who has ...

Fraud Squad

Ferdinand Mount: Imposters

2 August 2007
The Tichborne Claimant: A Victorian Sensation 
by Rohan McWilliam.
Continuum, 363 pp., £25, March 2007, 978 1 85285 478 2
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A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson 
by Frances Welch.
Short Books, 327 pp., £14.99, February 2007, 978 1 904977 71 1
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The Lost Prince: The Survival of Richard of York 
by David Baldwin.
Sutton, 220 pp., £20, July 2007, 978 0 7509 4335 2
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... Sir Roger Tichborne is my name, I’m seeking now for wealth and fame, They say that I was lost at sea, But I tell them ‘Oh dear, no, not me.’ This ballad, sung in procession when the Tichborne Claimant ...

Taking leave

Mark Edmundson

2 March 1989
Borrowed Time 
by Paul Monette.
Collins Harvill, 342 pp., £12.50, October 1988, 0 00 271057 9
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... and the way ‘mainstream’ America has responded to it have provoked a mixture of dread, anger and grief in many, if not most, gay people. Borrowed Time is Paul Monette’s elegy for his lover, Roger Horwitz, who died of illnesses stemming from Aids on 22 October 1986, and though the book contains its complement of anger and fear, it is chiefly a labour of grief. Monette pursues a pair of related ...

How Do You Pay?

Bee Wilson: Falling for Michael Moore

1 November 2007
Citizen Moore: An American Maverick 
by Roger​ Rapoport.
Methuen, 361 pp., £8.99, July 2007, 978 0 413 77649 5
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Manufacturing Dissent 
directed by Rick Caine and Debbie Melnyk.
October 2007
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Sicko 
directed by Michael Moore.
October 2007
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... as he never tires of telling us, from Flint, Michigan, the birthplace of General Motors. (He actually grew up in the more affluent suburb of Davison, ‘a city known for its churches’, according to Roger Rapoport.) He was taught by the Sisters of Saint Joseph and was known at school for his singing voice and his ability to make the nuns giggle. One of the nuns remembers him as the ‘brightest ...

A Man of No Mind

Colm Tóibín: The Passion of Roger​ Casement

13 September 2012
The Dream of the Celt 
by Mario Vargas Llosa and Edith Grossman.
Faber, 404 pp., £18.99, June 2012, 978 0 571 27571 7
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... lived and the causes they espoused. The three of these who stand out most are Henry Morton Stanley, who explored the route, the novelist Joseph Conrad, and the Irish patriot and human rights activist Roger Casement. It was Casement and a Frenchman living in England, E.D. Morel, who first drew attention to the crimes committed in the Congo in the name of progress and trade. Mario Vargas Llosa wrote ...

Resentment

John Sutherland

21 March 1991
Francesca 
by Roger​ Scruton.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 236 pp., £13.95, February 1991, 9781856190480
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Slave of the Passions 
by Deirdre Wilson.
Picador, 251 pp., £14.99, February 1991, 0 330 31788 1
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The Invisible Worm 
by Jennifer Johnston.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 182 pp., £12.95, February 1991, 1 85619 041 2
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The Secret Pilgrim 
by John le Carré.
Hodder, 335 pp., £14.95, January 1991, 0 340 54381 7
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... There are many Roger Scrutons and it is not easy to reconcile them: barrister, aesthetician, champion of Senator Joseph McCarthy, teacher at Birkbeck College (an institution with a tradition of proletarian outreach ...

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