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Emotional Sushi

Ian Sansom: Tony, Nick and Simon

9 August 2001
One for My Baby 
by Tony Parsons.
HarperCollins, 330 pp., £15.99, July 2001, 0 00 226182 0
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How to Be Good 
by Nick Hornby.
Viking, 256 pp., £16.99, May 2001, 0 670 88823 0
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Little Green Man 
by Simon Armitage.
Viking, 246 pp., £12.99, August 2001, 0 670 89442 7
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... TonyParsons is the talented journalist who used to play Leonard Bast to Tom Paulin’s rentier intellectual on Late Review, the BBC’s weekly parade of Schlegelisms. He was the mean little man with the Estuary ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Is it just me?

1 December 2005
... of Modern Life by Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur (Time Warner, £9.99). Some of the entries in Is It Just Me . . . ? that have also – or at any rate might well have – appeared on Spoons are: Tony Blair, chick-lit, city breaks, Sofia Coppola, Alain de Botton, Eats, Shoots and Leaves, Tracey Emin, exercise videos, foot spas, Ikea, improving the value of your property, Boris Johnson, Kabbalah ...

Microwaved Turkey

Thomas Jones: Tim Lott

7 February 2002
Rumours of a Hurricane 
by Tim Lott.
Viking, 378 pp., £14.99, February 2002, 0 670 88661 0
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... Tim Lott’s first novel, White City Blue, came out in 1999. The narrator, Frankie Blue, is a West London estate agent. His best friends are Tony, Nodge and Colin. Diamond Tony – formally, Anthony Diamonte – is a flash Italian hairdresser: handsome, charming, apparently successful, he has a flair for cruelty. Nodge – or Noj, Jon backwards – is an overweight cab ...

Hindsight Tickling

Christopher Tayler: Disappointing sequels

21 October 2004
The Closed Circle 
by Jonathan Coe.
Viking, 433 pp., £17.99, September 2004, 0 670 89254 8
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... see history in the making – picket lines, the National Front, the coming of punk and Thatcher. Blue Nun flows in torrents. Countercultural types speak fondly of Richard Branson. Julie Burchill and TonyParsons are hip. In other words, there’s a fair amount of easy, nostalgic, hindsight-tickling fun, combined with multiple coming-of-age tales, some forecasts of political gloom and a couple of ...
10 January 1991
Stone Alone 
by Bill Wyman and Ray Coleman.
Viking, 594 pp., £15.99, October 1990, 0 670 82894 7
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Blown away: The Rolling Stones and the Death of the Sixties 
by A.E. Hotchner.
Simon and Schuster, 377 pp., £15.95, October 1990, 0 671 69316 6
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Are you experienced? The Inside Story of the Jimi Hendrix Experience 
by Noel Redding and Carol Appleby.
Fourth Estate, 256 pp., £14.99, September 1990, 1 872180 36 1
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I was a teenage Sex Pistol 
by Glen Matlock and Pete Silverton.
Omnibus, 192 pp., £12.95, September 1990, 0 7119 2491 0
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Bare 
by George Michael and Tony Parsons.
Joseph, 242 pp., £12.99, September 1990, 0 7181 3435 4
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... made its murderous debut ... the PLO, the IRA and the Angry Brigade were all frontpage news ... a grim, stagnant time’ – you get the picture. And as the centre was finally refusing to hold, Parsons builds to the climactic revelation of where George’s family in Bushey, Herts, stood: ‘the Panos family ... were largely untouched by the gathering of the socio-political storm clouds.’ On to ...

Disgrace under Pressure

Andrew O’Hagan: Lad mags

3 June 2004
Stag & Groom Magazine 
edited by Perdita Patterson.
Hanage, 130 pp., £4, May 2004
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Zoo 
edited by Paul Merrill.
Emap East, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
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Nuts 
edited by Phil Hilton.
IPC, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
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Loaded 
edited by Martin Daubney.
IPC, 194 pp., £3.30, June 2004
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Jack 
edited by Michael Hodges.
Dennis, 256 pp., £3, May 2004
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Esquire 
edited by Simon Tiffin.
National Magazine Company, 180 pp., £3.40, June 2004
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GQ 
edited by Dylan Jones.
Condé Nast, 200 pp., £3.20, June 2004
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Men's Health 
edited by Morgan Rees.
Rodale, 186 pp., £3.40, June 2004
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Arena Homme Plus: ‘The Boys of Summer’ 
edited by Ashley Heath.
Emap East, 300 pp., £5, April 2004
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Stag & Groom Magazine 
edited by Perdita Patterson.
Hanage, 130 pp., £4, May 2004
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Zoo 
edited by Paul Merrill.
Emap East, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
Show More
Nuts 
edited by Phil Hilton.
IPC, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
Show More
Loaded 
edited by Martin Daubney.
IPC, 194 pp., £3.30, June 2004
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Jack 
edited by Michael Hodges.
Dennis, 256 pp., £3, May 2004
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Esquire 
edited by Simon Tiffin.
National Magazine Company, 180 pp., £3.40, June 2004
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GQ 
edited by Dylan Jones.
Condé Nast, 200 pp., £3.20, June 2004
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Men’s Health 
edited by Morgan Rees.
Rodale, 186 pp., £3.40, June 2004
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Arena Homme Plus: ‘The Boys of Summer’ 
edited by Ashley Heath.
Emap East, 300 pp., £5, April 2004
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... suddenly needed to be celebrated and serviced in a new way, as if there were a new demand among them for reassurance about the wonders of male normalcy. They look for all this in the way people like TonyParsons have taught them, in a spirit of soft-core irony and hard-core sentiment. But apart from reassurance and a sort of avenging pride, what are these magazines selling to their readers? With ...
19 December 1991
England’s dreaming: The Sex Pistols and Punk Rock 
by Jon Savage.
Faber, 602 pp., £17.50, October 1991, 0 571 13975 2
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... of the exercise. Punk rock has been dealt with in print in three main ways. Early artefacts like Fred and Judy Vermorel’s Sex Pistols (1978), a snapshot album with trashy, knowing captions and TonyParsons and Julie Burchill’s The boy looked at Johnny (also 1978), a book of scurrilous mythologies adapted from Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon, are elegantly tacky and anti-intellectual ...

Mirror Images

Jenny Diski: Piers Morgan

31 March 2005
The Insider: The Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade 
by Piers Morgan.
Ebury, 484 pp., £17.99, March 2005, 0 09 190506 0
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... Elton John, Princess Diana, George Michael, Anthea Turner, Richard Branson, Paul McCartney, Patsy Kensit, Ian Botham, Jordan, Mohammed al Fayed, Cherie Blair, Alastair Campbell, Peter Mandelson and Tony Blair. (If there are names in that list you haven’t heard of, don’t worry, none of them matters as much as they think they do.) At a Christmas lunch at the Mirabelle for his Mirror columnists ...

More Pain, Better Sentences

Adam Mars-Jones: Satire and St Aubyn

7 May 2014
Lost for Words 
by Edward St Aubyn.
Picador, 261 pp., £12.99, May 2014, 978 0 330 45422 3
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Books 
by Charlie Hill.
Tindal Street, 192 pp., £6.99, November 2013, 978 1 78125 163 8
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... result when satire forces itself into a positive register. Manna from heaven has an ISBN number. It turns out that the dock leaves of Mantel and Mills were growing near the nettles of not-quite-TonyParsons all along. The list of recommended authors itself resembles a scrupulously balanced prize shortlist – three men, three women – with a corrective anti-metropolitan bias, the named writers having ...

The Least Accountable Regime in the Middle East

Ed Harriman: On the Take in Iraq, Part 3

2 November 2006
US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction 
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US Government Accountability Office 
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US Congressional Research Service 
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US Department of State 
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Kurdistan Regional Government 
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Platform 
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... health programme was to be 150 new primary care centres: at $243 million, this was the largest US-funded reconstruction project in Iraq – oil-related programmes aside. The contract was given to Parsons Global Services, which quickly subcontracted most of the work. The centres were supposed to be open and treating patients by last December. By March this year, three-quarters of the budget had been ...

My Millbank

Seumas Milne

18 April 1996
The Blair Revolution: Can New Labour Deliver? 
by Peter Mandelson and Roger Liddle.
Faber, 274 pp., £7.99, February 1996, 0 571 17818 9
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... In politics, Peter Mandelson and Roger Liddle explain for the benefit of their less worldly-wise readers, ‘getting your way can require a degree of intrigue and manoeuvring.’ The straight-dealing Tony Blair would, they say, prefer that this was unnecessary and does not really ‘enjoy the modus operandi’. How very fortunate the Labour leader is, then, to be able to count on the services of one ...

Joining up

Angus Calder

3 April 1986
Soldier, Soldier 
by Tony​ Parker.
Heinemann, 244 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 434 57770 7
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Echoes of the Great War: The Diary of the Reverend Andrew Clark 1914-1919 
edited by James Munson.
Oxford, 304 pp., £10.95, October 1985, 0 19 212984 8
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The Unknown Army: Mutinies in the British Army in World War One 
by Gloden Dallas and Douglas Gill.
Verso, 178 pp., £18.50, July 1985, 0 86091 106 3
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Soldiers: A History of Men in Battle 
by John Keegan and Richard Holmes.
Hamish Hamilton, 288 pp., £12.95, September 1985, 0 241 11583 3
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... A major in the Royal Anglian Regiment talks to Tony Parker about battle: I’ve only been in that kind of situation where someone’s been shooting at me, a total of about twelve times altogether – in Ireland, in Aden, and we had a couple of dust ...

Make use of me

Jeremy Treglown: Olivia Manning

9 February 2006
Olivia Manning: A Life 
by Neville Braybrooke and June Braybrooke.
Chatto, 301 pp., £20, November 2004, 0 7011 7749 7
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... complaisant, philanderer. Among other men she was attracted to, the novelist William Gerhardie proved to have sadistic tendencies which she didn’t enjoy, while the theatre and film director Tony Richardson was so nervous of her that when lodging with the Smiths in St John’s Wood he hardly dared to take a bath. Manning’s generally direct and sophisticated treatment of sexual behaviour is ...

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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... of these phones – Maschler’s achievements as a general trade publisher rank him with Archibald Constable, George Smith, John Blackwood, George Routledge, Frederick Macmillan, David Garnett, Ian Parsons, Allen Lane. It was one of the most highly regarded of today’s younger publishers, Peter Straus (now an agent), who commissioned the book. None of these coat-brushers of genius is a household name ...
20 December 1979
An Actor and his Time 
by John Gielgud.
Sidgwick, 253 pp., £8.95
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... and were entirely modern in feeling. Wardle quotes Tyrone Guthrie as saying that Gielgud’s production of The Merchant of Venice at the Old Vic ‘made Maugham and Coward seem like two Nonconformist parsons from the Midlands’. It must have been an exciting time to be in the theatre and some of Wardle’s best pages are about the early days of Motley. They had taken as a studio Chippendale’s old ...

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