Category Archives: Literature

Book Review: Peter Oborne ~ The Assault on Truth: Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and the emergence of a new moral barbarism (2021)

Peter Oborne’s book has the passion of someone seeking revenge for a bitter disappointment with a feckless lover. Try this: “He [Johnson] was a joy to work for, a fine editor and a loyal colleague with the quickest mind I’ve … Continue reading

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Big Brother: 2021 Version

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Nazi SS Doctors and the CIA: post 1945

“They [CIA doctors] did, however, benefit from the guidance of Camp King’s staff doctor, Walter Schreiber, the former surgeon general of the Nazi army, who had overseen research at concentration camps in which prisoners were frozen, injected with hallucinogens, and … Continue reading

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Book Review: Leif G W Persson ~ The Dying Detective (Translator: Neil Smith) (2016)

Fans of BBC’s New Tricks* enjoy the idea that decades of experience can resolve unsolved crimes. Intuition, which can’t be taught, and informed common sense triumph over derided ‘modern’ methods. The Swedish author of this brilliant novel takes the genre … Continue reading

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George Orwell on Socialists in 1937

The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice. He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik who in five years’ time will quite probably have made a wealthy marriage … Continue reading

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Book Review: Stefan Ahnhem ~ Motive X (Translator: Agnes Broome) (2019)

Scandi-Noir emerged about twenty years ago and powered across the world with a series of brilliant writers. Their stories were tightly written and usually contained ultra-violent scenes. A strong stomach is recommended for readers. Ahnhem stands in this tradition. His … Continue reading

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Book Review: G D Abson ~ Black Wolf (2019)

Thrillers should thrill. Novels set in Russia/Soviet Union are a familiar sight on book shelves and there are some outstanding examples. Abson is competing with Tom Rob Smith’s Child 44; Martin Cruz Smith’s Wolves eat Dogs; and Lionel Davidson’s Kolyma … Continue reading

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Book Review: H H Kirst The Revolt of Gunner Asch (Translator: Robert Kee) (1955)

Kirst is best known for Night of the Generals, which became a terrific film (1967) starring Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif. Kirst can be counted as an unlucky German. He was born in 1914 and was 19 when Hitler took … Continue reading

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Churchill by Daisy Suckley: Roosevelt’s confidant

She described him [Churchill] as “a strange looking little man. Fat & round, his clothes bunched up on him. Practically no hair on his head, he wore a 10-gallon hat. He talks as though he had terrible adenoids—sometimes says very … Continue reading

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Book Review: Ruth Harris ~ The Man on Devil’s Island: Alfred Dreyfus and the affair that divided France (2010)

This biography is more than a Life. Ruth Harris’s meticulous study of French politics, the Roman Catholic church, the Army, Anti-Semitism and human drama is stunning. She reveals intellectuals who took up the cause of a Jewish army officer: the … Continue reading

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