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Ravish Me

Daniel Soar: Sebastian Faulks, 5 November 2009

A Week in December 
by Sebastian Faulks.
Hutchinson, 518 pp., £18.99, September 2009, 978 0 09 179445 3
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... of his novels, before the excitement takes over and the plot runs out of time for such niceties, Sebastian Faulks chooses his words – his participles, his adjectives, his compound nouns – with more scholastic care than any writer I can think of. And I doubt he gets much credit for it. Birdsong (1993), Faulks’s ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Spies Wanted, 17 July 2008

... grim realities of 21st-century espionage is at hand in Devil May Care, the new James Bond novel by Sebastian Faulks ‘writing as Ian Fleming’ (Penguin, £18.99). ‘Picking up where Fleming left off’ when he died in 1964, Faulks transports his readers back to a time when men were men (or at least Bond was), women ...


Philip French, 6 June 1996

The Fatal Englishman: Three Short Lives 
by Sebastian Faulks.
Hutchinson, 309 pp., £16.99, April 1996, 0 09 179211 8
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... those times. Now it is back in the West End, and its revival coincides with the publication of Sebastian Faulks’s percetive study of three men who died young, the painter Christopher Wood (1901-30), the war hero, Richard Hillary (1919-43), and Jeremy Wolfenden (1934-65) who was (or is?) the most spectacular failure of my Oxford generation. ...

Signora Zabaggy

Michael Rose, 2 August 1984

All Visitors Ashore 
by C.K. Stead.
Harvill, 150 pp., £8.95, July 1984, 0 00 271009 9
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A Trick of the Light 
by Sebastian Faulks.
Bodley Head, 204 pp., £7.95, July 1984, 0 370 30589 2
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Dividing Lines 
by Victor Sage.
Chatto, 166 pp., £8.95, July 1984, 0 7011 2811 9
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... about who is telling the tale is both the major formal strength and the vitiating weakness of Sebastian Faulks’s brave attempt at a taxing subject. The opening pages of A Trick of the Light give us Wyn Douglas, George Grillet, and London. Douglas, marginal urban man, a fixer, a reporter, an intriguer, scurries about the underside of the city with ...


Blake Morrison: On the Independent on Sunday , 27 May 1993

... are, so why does everything look different? Of the trio who set up the Sunday paper, Ian Jack and Sebastian Faulks were the ones who brought me there and who I’d known before. But I liked Stephen, who had a languid, donnish, even parsonical air, and whose voice reminded me for some reason of the first person ever to give me a job, John Gross. One of ...

How much?

Ian Hamilton: Literary pay and literary prizes, 18 June 1998

Guide to Literary Prizes, 1998 
edited by Huw Molseed.
Book Trust, 38 pp., £3.99, May 1998, 0 85353 475 6
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The Cost of Letters: A Survey of Literary Living Standards 
edited by Andrew Holgate and Honor Wilson-Fletcher.
W Magazine, 208 pp., £2, May 1998, 0 9527405 9 1
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... do on under.’ Nobody in the 1998 symposium attempts to echo Connolly’s louche self-indulgence (Sebastian Faulks attractively comes close, with his preferred target of £X + 52A + 2RT: ‘A’ stands for alcohol intake, ‘RT’ for return tickets to somewhere very far away). The tone nowadays is solemn when it is not spiky. With the 1946 survey you ...

Darkness and so on and on

Adam Mars-Jones: Kate Atkinson, 6 June 2013

Life after Life 
by Kate Atkinson.
Doubleday, 477 pp., £18.99, March 2013, 978 0 385 61867 0
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... Englishness is a resource that can never run out. There’s nothing to set beside the moment in Sebastian Faulks’s ‘novel in five parts’, A Possible Life, published last year, when the consolation available to the hero from his past is finally exhausted: ‘He stuffed pieces of straw and paper into his ears to cut out the noises of Bedlam and ...

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