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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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... creates the episode which dominates Roger’s Version: the supposed adultery between his wife and Dale Kohler. Dale Kohler enters Roger’s Version on the first page, where we find him sitting in Roger’s office in the Divinity School, disturbing Roger’s cultivated academic complacency with a project to prove the ...

Very Tight Schedule

Theo Tait, 1 June 2000

Driving the Heart 
by Jason Brown.
Cape, 224 pp., £10, January 2000, 0 224 06053 8
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... asleep or possibly in a coma who will not live another day without this heart. This,’ I say to Dale, ‘is the importance of your job.’ The story is well situated between the grim and the humane, the realistic and the metaphorical, the connected and the severed, the bodily and the mechanical. This is one of three strikingly good stories in the ...

Taste, Tact and Racism

Ian Hamilton: The death of Princess Diana, 22 January 1998

Assassination of a Princess 
by Ahmad Ata.
Dar Al-Huda, 75 pp., £5, September 1997, 977 5340 23 3
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Diana: A Princess Killed by Love 
by Ilham Sharshar.
Privately published, 125 pp., £10, September 1998, 977 5190 95 9
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Who Killed Diana? 
by Muhammad Ragab.
Privately published, 127 pp., £5, September 1998, 977 08 0675 7
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Harrods: A Place in Knightsbridge 
by Tim Dale.
Harrods, 224 pp., £35, November 1995, 1 900055 01 5
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... The Di Castro Travel Agency in mid-town Alexandria has an eerily compelling window display: a shrine to the memory of Dodi al-Fayed and Diana, Princess of Wales. The shrine has as its centrepiece the front cover of the magazine al-Musawwar depicting Di and Dodi on their wedding day that never was. The couple are shown hand in hand: she in a white bridal gown, clutching a bouquet; he in a dark morning-suit with a carnation in his buttonhole ...


David Craig: In the Barra Isles, 30 October 1997

... he told me, it filled up that awful space to the south-west, giving him a feeling of security.’ Tim Robinson relates this, near the end of his double-work, Stones of Aran: pilgrimage and Labyrinth. ‘In reality Pangaea is broken,’ Robinson writes, ‘and all the mysterious bits and pieces circulating in the slow vortices of Panthalassa – Atlantis, the ...

A Girl Called Retina

Tom Crewe: You’ll like it when you get there, 13 August 2020

British Summer Time Begins: The School Summer Holidays, 1930-80 
by Ysenda Maxtone Graham.
Little, Brown, 352 pp., £18.99, July, 978 1 4087 1055 5
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... known as ‘Dead Man’s Leg’ at Wycombe Abbey, ‘Matron’s Leg’ at St Elphin’s, Darley Dale, ‘Granny’s Leg’ at Southover, and ‘Reverend Mother’s Leg’ at the Presentation Convent in Matlock. This shows how very like a varicose-veiny or actively bleeding human leg the puddings must have looked.According to Rita Skinner, the food at ...

Competition is for losers

David Runciman: Silicon Valley Vampire, 23 September 2021

The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power 
by Max Chafkin.
Bloomsbury, 400 pp., £25, September 2021, 978 1 5266 1955 6
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... and the CEOs of Silicon Valley’s biggest firms. It took place on the 25th floor of Trump Tower. Tim Cook from Apple was there, along with Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, as well as the heads of Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Intel and IBM. The symbolism was clear: Thiel was now the man to bring tech money and political power ...


Benjamin Markovits: What It Takes to Win at Sport, 7 November 2013

... For one thing, the British are winning again, and they’ve had to come to terms with this fact. Tim Adams in the Observer called it a ‘national conversion from doubt to faith’. By common consensus, the transformation started ten years ago, when England won the rugby world cup under the guidance of Clive Woodward, who went on to become ‘director of ...

Barely under Control

Jenny Turner: Who’s in charge?, 7 May 2015

... had no jurisdiction over academies anyway. ‘The system demands too much of local governors,’ Tim Brighouse told me. Brighouse was Birmingham’s chief education officer in the 1990s before overseeing education in London for New Labour. ‘No other developed country relies so much on such an unreliable systemic link.’ Local worthies, Gove used to call ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 June 2018

... case. On the Thursday afternoon, before the town hall meeting, Paget-Brown was interviewed by Tim Donovan of the BBC, who wanted him to say sorry. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was now saying the fire was the result of ‘years of neglect’. Paget-Brown stuck to his belief that it would be demeaning to the victims for him and other councillors to ...

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