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Wolfish

John Sutherland: The pushiness of young men in a hurry

5 May 2005
Publisher 
by Tom Maschler.
Picador, 294 pp., £20, March 2005, 0 330 48420 6
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British Book Publishing as a Business since the 1960s 
by Eric de Bellaigue.
British Library, 238 pp., £19.95, January 2004, 0 7123 4836 0
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Penguin Special: The Life and Times of Allen Lane 
by Jeremy Lewis.
Viking, 484 pp., £25, May 2005, 0 670 91485 1
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... Tom Maschler’s memoir, Publisher, appeared in bookshops on 18 March. It might as well not have done. The book was dead on arrival, having been subjected to a barrage of premature review and ridicule. Private Eye’s Bookworm feasted on the still warm corpse. The Guardian’s Editor page ‘digested’ it satirically: ‘I was 27 when Hemingway shot himself ...
19 October 1995
À la Pym: The Barbara Pym Cookery Book 
by Hilary Pym and Honor Wyatt.
Prospect, 102 pp., £9.95, September 1995, 0 907325 61 0
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... records, they had kipper pâté to start, after sherry; and then ‘veal done with peppers and tomatoes, Pommes Anna, and celery and cheese (he didn’t eat any Brie and we thought perhaps he only likes plain food). He’s shy but very responsive and jokey. He left about 3.30 in his large Rover car (pale tobacco colour).’ The faded paint of the car ...

Diary

Julian Barnes: On the Booker

12 November 1987
... who issue more than three worthwhile novels a year. Some of these publishers – most notably Mr Tom Maschler of Cape – have for a few years legitimately exploited the two-list process by occasionally putting solidly established novelists on their ‘B’ list (knowing there was a high chance of such books being called in) while risking more ...

Draw me a what’s-it cube

Adam Mars-Jones: Ian McEwan

13 September 2012
Sweet Tooth 
by Ian McEwan.
Cape, 323 pp., £18.99, August 2012, 978 0 224 09737 6
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... job to recruit a short-story writer with real potential as a novelist. The choice falls on T. H. (Tom) Haley. McEwan has incorporated genre elements in his fiction often enough before, without letting them predominate. Imported genre energy used with less skill can be destabilising, a pumping of the accelerator made problematic by the attendant wrenching ...
19 May 1988
The Monument 
by T. Behrens.
Cape, 258 pp., £11.95, May 1988, 0 224 02510 4
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The Passion of John Aspinall 
by Brian Masters.
Cape, 360 pp., £12.95, May 1988, 0 224 02353 5
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... a pun in the words of the inscription. These two people had enacted what we have long been accustomed to think of as a romantic programme, whereby love and death converge, and dying young is the thing to do, whereby other people, and common life, are a thing to be escaped from, and a tension develops between the duty to a partner and a cultivation of the ...

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