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Anthony Burgess, ‘Tremor of Intent’ (1966)

‘To some of us, the wresting of beauty out of language is the only thing in the world that matters.‘ The more I learn about Anthony Burgess, the more I like him. According to the excellent and informative website of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Burgess was treated for a brain tumour in the 1960s … Continue reading

James Crumley, ‘The Last Good Kiss’ (1978)

In his excellent survey of American crime fiction Into the Badlands,┬áJohn Williams describes James Crumley as ‘the Hemingway of the detective novel… a big bearded bear-like man who loves to drink and raise hell and talk about literature.‘ It’s a portrait borne out by the chapter in which Williams follows Crumley from bar to bar … Continue reading

Picture Book: Holland House Library, 1940

Now here’s an image to sum up the British blitz spirit: three smartly dressed men in hats and coats peruse the shelves at their local library, oblivious to the fact that it’s just had the shit bombed out of it. No need to panic, what? A stirring story but, as is often the case (and … Continue reading