TALKING TO RUDOLF HESS – Desmond Zwar (2010, The History Press, £17.99; ISBN: 978-0-7524-5522-8)

The title is a misnomer: Zwar never actually talked to Rudolf Hess, the former Deputy Leader of the Nazis and Hitler’s chosen successor. His only contact was through intermediaries, whose verbal reports as written down by the author make up … Continue reading

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A liquid investment

Last night Julian Barnes won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for his novel, The Sense of an Ending. My review of this novel can be found in Recent, on this site. On the same page are other reviews, notably of … Continue reading

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MELANCHOLIA – directed by Lars von Trier (2011, 136 min., Cert: 15 – with Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Stellan Skarsgård, John Hurt, Charlotte Rampling)

This is a film famously upstaged by the stupid comments made by director Lars von Trier at a press conference during the Cannes Film Festival, which had been mounted to celebrate Kirsten Dunst’s award for Best Actress. (Von Trier himself … Continue reading

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My Dinner with Tomas

I was interested to learn this week that the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer has been made this year’s Nobel Laureate of Literature. I met him at the Adelaide Literary Festival in 1982, and one evening we had dinner together. My … Continue reading

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A fond remembrance

When a newly published book is being reviewed the writer can find himself in a perverse and slightly frustrating position. There is a sort of convention under which the writer is expected to stay silent and not respond to published … Continue reading

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