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Convenience Killing

John Sutherland

7 April 1994
What’s Wrong with America 
by Scott Bradfield.
Picador, 196 pp., £14.99, January 1994, 0 330 32249 4
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The History of Luminous Motion 
by Scott Bradfield.
Picador, 196 pp., £5.99, January 1994, 0 330 33412 3
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Greetings from Earth 
by Scott Bradfield.
Picador, 296 pp., £5.99, January 1994, 0 330 32252 4
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... Scott Bradfield is a campus novelist. Still just under forty, he taught for five years at the University of California at Irvine while getting his PhD in American literature. He then took a job at a worthy but less prestigious school – Storrs University in Connecticut, where he now teaches English. While earning his degree and his bread in the classroom, Bradfield has, over the last ten years, put together an impressive corpus of fiction comprising two novels and a collection of short stories ...

Pulp

Scott Bradfield

14 December 1995
Jim Thompson Omnibus: The Getaway, The Killer inside Me, The Grifters, Pop. 1280 
Picador, 570 pp., £7.99, November 1995, 3 303 34288 1Show More
Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson 
by Robert Polito.
Knopf, 543 pp., $30, October 1995, 0 394 58407 4
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... Jim Thompson never actually claimed to write capital-L Literature, but today, nearly twenty years after his death, many of his admirers are making the claim for him. Born in a sheriff’s apartment over the Caddo County Jail in Oklahoma in 1906, Thompson, like many good American boys, grew up to be a lot like his father. ‘Big Jim’ Thompson Sr was the popular multi-term sheriff of Caddo County until Oklahoma declared statehood at the turn of the century, and federal auditors began uncovering serious discrepancies in Big Jim’s books ...

My Wife

Jonathan Coe

21 December 1989
Soho Square II 
edited by Ian Hamilton.
Bloomsbury, 287 pp., £12.95, November 1989, 0 7475 0506 3
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... to view everyday life in political terms which English writers can only strain after. Another Scottish writer, Candia McWilliam, has already acquired a reputation for her way with abstruse words, but ‘Sweetie Rationing’ finds her on subdued form, in this respect. There are some good sentences (‘the old woman went to kirk to get her dose of grudge at ...

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