This is the fourth book Anthony Burgess has published concerning the poet Enderby. The first was a very brilliant and original portrait. The second was clever and funny but not so interesting. The third was an anticlimax – a short coda full of good parodies, in which Enderby died grossly. What are we to make of this new Enderby, revived (Mr Burgess tells his readers) by popular request? It might have been kinder not to disturb his bones.
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'Only in Britain, perhaps, could spy chiefs – conventionally viewed as masters of subterfuge – be so highly regarded as ethical guides.'
In this month's Bookends, @AdamCSDouglas looks at the curious life of Henry Labouchere: a friend of Bram Stoker, 'loose cannon', and architect of the law that outlawed homosexual activity in Britain.
'We have all twenty-nine of her Barsetshire novels, and whenever a certain longing reaches critical mass we read all twenty-nine again, straight through.'
Patricia T O'Conner on her love for Angela Thirkell. (£)