BOOK REVIEW / Paperbacks

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The Independent Culture
Dr Bowdler's Legacy by Noel Perrin, Nonpareil pounds 10.50. A history of expurgation, from Dr Bowdler and his sister (nipping and tweaking to make Shakespeare fit for family consumption), through Mrs Trimmer (who de-Onanised the Bible) to the present. In a chapter added since the book first appeared in 1969, Perrin finds that the latest wave of bowdlerism - which doesn't **]] or --- words, but simply deletes them - exists chiefly in relation not to sex but to 'race and ethnicity', with Dr Dolittle and Fahrenheit 451 among its victims.

Workaholics: The Respectable Addicts by Barbara Killinger, Simon & Schuster pounds 7.99. You know the ones: first in, last to leave; high on power and low on libido and human interest; unable to delegate anything, except the care of the children they never see; overtired, overwrought and never anywhere but here; docked at their desks or terminally tied to their terminals; the ones who rather than taking a holiday, or reading this useful collection of interviews and how-to-recover handy hints, will be 'too busy' or think it has no relation to them.

Granta 40, Penguin pounds 6.99. Magazine edited by an American abroad, in this issue mainly about Americans abroad: notably the hero of a powerful Richard Ford novella, in love in Paris; and Paul Theroux, under siege from an English aristo called Lady Max. Also: Nadine Gordimer, Richard Rayner and Andre Brink.

Thomas Cook: 150 Years of Popular Tourism by Piers Brendon, Secker pounds 11.99. When the 'Napoleon of Excursions' accompanied his 'intelligent inquirers' to Cairo on board one of Cook's first steamers, Thomas Cook himself could hardly have predicted what the tourist industry would become. Later transports of delight included a whole 'Nile Flotilla' and a 'Vesuvius Railway', but, details apart, this history of a company is simultaneously an account of how the British became obsessed by travelling for fun. A fascinating study which will stop us all being snobbish about our own choice of hols.