Category Archives: Literature

Book Review: Leslie Thomas ~ Virgin Soldiers (1966)

Spike Milligan wrote his brilliant war autobiographies1 to considerable acclaim but he was building on this autobiographical novel by Leslie Thomas. Unlike Milligan Thomas took part in one of a series of grim colonial wars, which are now forgotten. The … Continue reading

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Book review: Annie Duke ~ Thinking in Bets (2019)

Gambling fascinates me and I like stories associated with gamblers. Kerry Packer is an endless source of pleasure for me. He was famously irritated by a braggart in a Las Vegas casino who wanted everyone to know he had a … Continue reading

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What gambling really is

…world-class poker players taught me to understand what a bet really is: a decision about an uncertain future. Duke, Annie. Thinking in Bets (p. 3). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. Chris

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Book Review: John le Carre ~ Agent Running in the Field (2019)

Do octogenarians write as well as they did in their pomp? On the evidence of this book they don’t they write differently. This novel is almost a satire. La Carre rails against western ‘values’, which he traduces as a mass … Continue reading

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Book Review: Paul Theroux ~ O-Zone (1986)

This book fizzes with ideas based around fear. The wealthy fear the poor and erect buildings which are fortresses inside sealed cities. Travel is by helicopter as ground level movement is hazardous as well as being slow from endless checkpoints. … Continue reading

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Book Review: Garrison Keillor ~ Lake Woebegon Days (1985)

Garrison is a radio star in the mid-West of the USA. His show is a slow conversational series of supposed memories. He speaks in a drawling and yet compelling voice and once hooked…. If you’ve heard his voice then the … Continue reading

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Len Deighton on Etonians

Eton, Oxbridge, Buddha class: sadistic, self-sufficient apparatchiks who controlled Whitehall by stealth, wealth and consanguinity and — no matter how friendly — inevitably closed ranks against intruders like me. Len Deighton. Hope (1995) (Kindle Locations 1945-1947). HarperCollins UK. Chris

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