Sunday 12 October 1997
In This Dark House by Louise Kehoe, Penguin pounds 6.99. This is "Daddy Dearest": to follow on from the more sentimental Dads-reminiscence of the New Lads, a memoir from the daughter of avant garde architect Berthold Lubetkin (the "father of British modernism") which testifies to the living hell of parental and marital tyranny the great man created. Lubetkin suddenly decided to take his family to live on an isolated farm, where he bullied his wife, and by turns ridiculed and ignored his children. What's more, he turned out to be a world-class liar: his stories of being the only survivor of a family murdered by Bolsheviks are shown, after his death, to have been false. Kehoe has managed a painful sort of forgiveness, but this is therapy-literature.
The Story of the Night by Colm Tibn, Picador pounds 15.99. Argentina in the Eighties: Richard Garay, a gay English teacher, lives with his tiresome English mother, who herself lives in a fictional British Empire, complete with jingoistic Thatcherism. He has casual sex with strangers and a hopeless crush on one of his affluent, heterosexual pupils, until he falls properly in love. A CIA couple induct Richard into the strange political agenda of US oil-barons: namely, the privatisation of Argentinian oil. Suddenly he's rich, wearing suits, and being seduced - the classic American yuppie in a country pillaged by political corruption and brutality towards its own citizens. Other realities emerge: a former classmate, he discovers, was dropped out of a plane over the ocean, one of Argentina's "Disappeared". Tibn's trademark terse prose wraps over the pacy narrative to give a picture of wider society - and a frightening one at that.
Fighting Talk: The Biography of John Prescott by Colin Brown, Simon & Schuster pounds 6.99. On 2 May, John Prescott waved to the cameras as he walked up to 10 Downing Street. "I've waited years for this," was his comment. He entered the Commons 27 years ago, and the deputy leadership was his first ministerial position. But even that didn't come easily, and this book documents Prescott's sometimes stormy relations with Tony Blair in fascinating detail. If you want to understand the role of this tub-thumping, grass-roots man in the New Labour dream-machine, try this engrossing book.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
'Phallic symbols' found hidden in famous Pre-Raphaelite painting 'Isabella' by John Everett Millais
Top Gear Burma episode breached Ofcom rules over Jeremy Clarkson's racial slur
Freddie Prinze Jr on 24: 'Kiefer Sutherland was the most unprofessional dude in the world – I hated every moment of it'
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer unveiled at Comic-Con
How did our legends really begin?
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
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