Category Archives: Literature

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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Book Review: Laurent Binet ~ The 7th Function of Language (translated Sam Taylor) (2018)

Binet wrote the brilliant historical novel HHhH (2013) about the assassination of Heydrich in Prague in 1942. Naturally I bought this new book, without reading a review, and found myself engaging with a French intellectual. It was very bracing. The … Continue reading

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Ten Golden Oldie books for Christmas, 2019

Christmas is the book buying season with shelves full of celebrity cookbooks, autobiographies, star novelists and so on. They’re all sold at premium prices. Meanwhile there are millions of books which are superb and can be bought for a fraction … Continue reading

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Wittgenstein as a (failed) teacher

For our own part, we struck Wittgenstein as intolerably stupid.1 He would denounce us to our faces as unteachable, and at times he despaired of getting us to recognize what sort of point he was trying to get across to … Continue reading

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Book Review: Len Deighton ~ Faith (1994)

It was Deighton’s misfortune to be a brilliant author at the same time as John le Carre was also writing. Salieri had a similar problem with Mozart! So why read Deighton? I returned to Deighton after 25 years and was … Continue reading

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