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Perhaps a case of not what you do, but what you are

My text for today is a piece by David Barnett upon the process of writing (and specifically ‘writing advice’) that appeared recently – see here for the link – upon the website of – THE INDEPENDENT It’s a worthy read because it has plenty to say, it’s humble and honest and it details [...]

August 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

A Shot in the Dark

Novelist Lynne Truss is an interesting writer. She worked as a sportswriter, wrote an international best seller Eats Shoots and Leaves and has now written this comic detective novel based on her radio plays and set in Brighton in the fifties. It’s not really a homage to Graham Greene’s [...]

August 3, 2018 // 0 Comments

Our Friends in Berlin/Anthony Quinn

At The Rust we do have our pet topics and debates: sporting attendance v TV watching; Simon Campion-Brown’s anarchic – some might say sclerotic – view of the body politic; and here in the book review department these last few months we have become rather obsessed with British fascism [...]

July 24, 2018 // 0 Comments

To 1944 and back

This may sound a degree absurd from someone in their sixties with a general interest in military history but last week I made my first-ever research trip to Normandy as a member of a small touring group spending five days ‘doing’ the D-Day Landings and elements of the 1944 Allied campaign to [...]

July 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

France :A History from Gaul to de Gaulle / John Julius Norwich

I always have a lot of respect for writers of non fiction whose preparation involves a lot of research and who can nonetheless produce a final work that is concise. Norman Stone wrote a brilliant short history of the First World War, Neal McGregor a superb but short history of Germany and now John [...]

July 3, 2018 // 0 Comments

Lord Ted /Alan Lee

It’s always interesting to read a biography – or autobiography – of someone one knows well  to see if it chimes with your impressions and what bits of their life you know which have not been revealed. Alan Lee’s biography was published in 1995 after Ted Dexter resigned as Chairman [...]

June 27, 2018 // 0 Comments

After the Party/Cressida Connolly

I can probably as I am one say this without being ravaged in social media but After the Party is very much a woman’s novel. It features at its heart the relationship between 3 sisters and covers subjects such as food, rearing children and middle class county socialising, all more likely to engage [...]

June 24, 2018 // 0 Comments

Greeks Bearing Gifts /Philip Kerr

I had occasion to seek the advice of a friend who is a loss adjuster to be informed that he was on a remote Greek island investigating a claim. Coincidentally Bernie Gunther, in the latest Philip Kerr novel, is doing exactly the same. I drew this coincidence to my friend’s attention to be [...]

June 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

Dead if you don’t/Peter James

It is significant that this crime novel by the popular Brighton writer was recommended to me by the former Chief Constable of Sussex. It is clear that James has a close relationship with the police force which benefits both. The police explain procedure and criminal background and he represents the [...]

June 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

The Kites/Romain Cary

Very often a fictional account can be more gripping than factual historical one and this is certainly the case with Romain Cary’s story of Ludo Fleury, a young man growing up in Normandy during the last war. Both his parents perished in World War One and he is brought up by his uncle a builder of [...]

June 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

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