Arts & Entertainment

Private Alex Stringer, of the Royal Logistic Corps, was 20 when he was blown up in Afghanistan: "The reason I lost my left leg so high up is because the burning paint cooked my left leg all the way down to the bone. But if I hadn't set myself on fire, I would have bled out and died – as a result of it, all the arteries became cauterised".

My Greatest Mistake: A N Wilson, Literary Editor, London 'Evening Standard', and novelist

'Marina Warner's book was tosh from beginning to end, but I shouldn't have said so. She wept. I felt terrible'

Words: mastodontic, adj.

SEAMLESSLY LIMPID is the new, elegant memoir of summertime meetings with Graham Greene on Capri by Shirley Hazzard, the novelist, widow of the francophile Francis Steegmuller and a mainstay of the marvellous New York Society Library. A word leaps out when she discusses Greene's small volume on British dramatists, "a fine illustrated edition of rational dimensions (we had no premontiion, then, of mastodontic coffee-table tomes)".

Film Studies: Graham Greene, screenwriter, critic ... and actor

Neil Jordan's new version of Graham Greene's The End of the Affair has just opened in the US. One critic called it the finest Greene on screen since The Third Man - the 1949 picture hailed as the best British movie ever made. I smelt a rat straightaway, for I guessed this critic had not seen the 1953 The Heart of the Matter, directed by George More O'Ferrall, and starring Trevor Howard. You see, if you put Trevor Howard in Greene, you're home. He played Major Calloway in The Third Man, and his acting was as dry as year-old logs - the ones that burn so hard you have to back away from the fire.

Words: tote, adj. and v.

A CURIOUS aspect of Neil Hamilton's libel case is his daily arrival at court with a London Library tote bag prominently displayed. One must wonder what that august and congenial private library makes of this unusual product placement.

Monday Book: Action man with the soul of a polymath

Anglo-English Attitudes: essays, reviews, misadventures 1984-99 by Geoff Dyer (Abacus, pounds 12.99)

Football: Why football can't avoid the verbals

From Hell Razor to Peacemaker, Ruddock urges a calmer official approach to the goading game

The Independent Archive: `You get in the writer's sea and swim with him'

24 September 1987 Richard Ingrams interviews the novelist Brian Moore, whose thriller of church and state, `The Colour of Blood', has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize

Red wine, olive oil, chop-sticks

Hanoi is one of the great cultural melting-pots of the world. Graham Greene is everywhere. And so is French cuisine

Return of the native

Bryan Cheyette hails a ping-pong champion from North Manchester who can match the best shots of Charles Dickens and Philip Roth; The Mighty Walzer by Howard Jacobson Jonathan Cape, pounds 15.99, 384pp

Jennifer Paterson, Fat Lady and life-long bon vivant, dies at 71

JENNIFER PATERSON, who achieved unlikely cult status as one half of the Two Fat Ladies cookery duo, died yesterday, aged 71.

Greene King wins Morland with new pounds 182m bid

GREENE KING, the Bury St Edmunds-based brewer, yesterday claimed victory in its bid battle for Morland after it raised its offer to pounds 182m, beating a bid by Wolverhampton & Dudley, which said it would not increase its offer.

Racing: Razor sharp new image for Brighton

Once the province of the London low life, a coastal racecourse is fast rising above its station under the guidance of Stan Clarke, its new owner. By Greg Wood

Obituary: W. J. West

EVEN TO the day before he died, from rampant stomach cancer, W. J. West was still racking up a huge telephone bill as he elaborated upon another scheme fuelled by the 10,000 heavily annotated books which filled his half of the Devon house to which he retreated after each hunch-driven foray on the trail of George Orwell, Graham Greene and much else.

THE GUILLOTINE: No 22: ENID BLYTON

Twentieth-Century Classics That Won't Last
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Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

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