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Nuremberg Rally, Invasion of Poland, Dunkirk …

James Meek: The never-ending wish to write about the Second World War, 6 September 2001

Ghost MacIndoe 
by Jonathan Buckley.
Fourth Estate, 469 pp., £12.99, April 2001, 1 84115 227 7
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The Twins 
by Tessa de Loo.
Arcadia, 392 pp., £6.99, May 2001, 1 900850 56 7
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Riptide 
by John Lawton.
Weidenfeld, 322 pp., £16.99, March 2001, 0 297 64345 2
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The Day We Had Hitler Home 
by Rodney Hall.
Granta, 361 pp., £15.99, April 2001, 1 86207 384 8
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Five Quarters of the Orange 
by Joanne Harris.
Doubleday, 431 pp., £12.99, April 2001, 0 385 60169 7
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The Fire Fighter 
by Francis Cottam.
Chatto, 240 pp., £15.99, March 2001, 0 7011 6981 8
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The Element of Water 
by Stevie Davies.
Women’s Press, 253 pp., £9.99, April 2001, 0 7043 4705 9
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The Bronze Horsewoman 
by Paullina Simons.
Flamingo, 637 pp., £6.99, April 2001, 0 00 651322 0
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The Siege 
by Helen Dunmore.
Penguin, 304 pp., £16.99, June 2001, 0 670 89718 3
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... with death. No scene is too humdrum to be energised by the ubiquity of death. In Ghost MacIndoe, Jonathan Buckley introduces the war in the fifth line with the sentence: ‘The postman tipped his helmet to Alexander’s mother.’ The postman wears a helmet? Something is out there trying to kill postmen? That’s war, that is. The British Army still ...

The Amazing …

Jonathan Lethem: My Spidey, 6 June 2002

Spider-Man 
directed by Sam Raimi.
May 2002
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... of every comic, written in a style that could be characterised as High Hipster – two parts Lord Buckley, one part Austin Powers. Stan Lee was a writer gone Barnum, who’d abandoned new work in favour of rah-rah moguldom. He was Marvel’s media liaison and their own biggest in-house fan, a schmoozer. Imagine if Orson Welles had never bothered to direct ...

Irangate

Edward Said, 7 May 1987

The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey 
by Salman Rushdie.
Picador, 171 pp., £2.95, January 1987, 0 330 29990 5
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Turning the Tide: US Intervention in Central America and the Struggle for Peace 
by Noam Chomsky.
Pluto, 298 pp., £5.95, September 1986, 0 7453 0184 3
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... this was termed ‘understandable self-defence’ by the President. It turned out later that Jonathan Pollard, given a life sentence in America in March of this year, had handed over the requisite information about PLO offices to Israel, as part of a spying operation. Here was a weird concatentation whereby anti-terrorism, condoned and encouraged by the ...

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