Category Archives: Anyone’s Game – my latest novel

Naipaul’s Journey into Darkness

In V.S. Naipaul’s novel In a Free State the intensity of his descriptions of landscape, and of the forcefield of competing human existences, is staggering. Has there been a better winner of the Booker Prize, the best-known and most lucrative … Continue reading

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The Sculptor, the Spy and a Moment of Political Sincerity

The story of how the highly distinguished art historian and former Cambridge Apostle Anthony Blunt was unmasked in 1979 as having been a spy for Soviet Russia, has a peculiar appeal for my generation and roundabout. I imagine John le … Continue reading

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Antonio Tabucchi’s novel of pessmism and measured hope set in Fascist Portugal

Pereira Maintains, by the late Italian writer Alexander Trocchi, is a minature masterpiece. It is as satisfying in its form as it is morally, and contemporary literature doesn’t offer so many chances to say this. A smash success in Italy … Continue reading

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A Year in Philosophy

  According to A.J. Ayer, the history of philosophy, in the hands of ‘the old men’ who ran Oxford philosophy before the war, consisted in ‘repeating what Plato had said’.The annual lecture series at London’s Royal Insitute of Philosophy, in … Continue reading

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Scotland’s Relationship with England: is marriage the right metaphor?

My knowledge of Scotland is confined to a couple of cross-country visits nearly twenty years ago, and some imaginings for my most recent novel, Anyone’s Game. On one actual visit to the west coast I concluded the food and the … Continue reading

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Down and Out in Paris and London, or was that London and Scotland?

Over on Radio Four they’re reading Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London this week. After I’d written the fourth chapter of Anyone’s Game it was an echo of Orwell’s title, ‘Down and Out in London and Scotland’ came … Continue reading

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Anyone’s Game depicts Brave New Russia

I certainly had Huxley’s novel in mind when I was writing the Moscow chapter of Anyone’s Game.  As I wrote in my first blog on these pages, in September 2012, novelists tend to have other novels in mind when they … Continue reading

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