D J Taylor

Only Connect

Born Yesterday: The News as a Novel

By

Faber & Faber 215pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

As an anatomy of the criminal mind, Somebody’s Husband, Somebody’s Son (1984), Gordon Burn’s account of the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, took some beating. ‘Anatomy of the criminal mind’ isn’t quite right, in fact, as Burn’s achievement was to construct not simply a study of an individual and the horrors he committed but a piece of dramatised sociology, in which Sutcliffe’s crimes were tracked unerringly back to the West Yorkshire environment that produced them and some of the wider assumptions – principally to do with women and violence – that lay at their core.

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