When it comes to LeCarre, there is “Good John” (almost all the non-Smiley) and “Bad John” (most of the Smiley). This being a ‘Smiley’ offering, the book is not only by my definition, “Bad John,” but also pretty pedestrian writing. The one thing the Smiley contributions do do well is highlighting the mendacity, paucity and amorality of the intelligence profession as a whole.
Harris’ FATHERLAND, set in historical Nazi Germany, was a tour de force of Alternative History. Thank God, then, that Harris now returns to Germany-in-the-past, this time to offer a book of “faction” focusing on British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s calamitous journey to Munich to appease Hitler and hand over the Czech Sudetenland to the Nazis.
How else could we know the colour of the draperies in each of the rooms the ostensible “protagonist” carries two red boxes from room to room throughout the book, for nothing else new of historical significance nor literary merit is otherwise added.
I am by no means immune to the charms of literary fiction. Indeed, I have advanced degrees in the location and time period of Towles’ book. However, not even the supposed charms of Count Rostov or the Hotel Metropol could keep me interested in this literary tale, bereft as it is of bon mots, startling insights, clever turns of phrase or the economy or beauty of language. Not only does not nothing happen through the entire course of the book, there is not even a hint that something will happen. Ever!
This is the last in Card’s “ENDER” series, one of the best sci-fi series in history IMHO. Card receives a huge amount of social criticism for his views but, Lordy, the man can write a good story! This one is better read after all its preceding offerings. Even given that, there is too much back story, prose and explanation to hook me like the others did. It only really works when the dialogue and plot take over from the back story. Still, a wonderful series that everyone should read.
I used to love coming here in the morning…..
End of an era as Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market closes
Why Tsukiji means so much to Tokyo
The move itself
Toyosu: What to expect
But what about Tsukiji?
Haig writes his main character, Sean Drummond, as a tough soldier-turned-JAG lawyer wise-ass. Problem is, it only works part of the time. Readers fond of this character type would be much better served turning to Robert Crais’ Elvis Cole series.
U.K. student union bans applause in favour of ‘jazz hands’ because clapping could ‘trigger anxiety’
Sara Khan, Manchester University’s liberation and access officer, argued that traditional applause was not sufficiently ‘accessible.’ Whooping is also discouraged
With jazz hands, no one gets hurt.Getty Images
LONDON — Clapping has been replaced with “jazz hands” at a British student union amid fears that the noise of applause could trigger anxiety among some students.
Whooping is also discouraged at Manchester University student union events on the basis that the loud noise may be a problem for those with sensory issues.
The use of “jazz hands” — where students wave their hands in the air — is the British Sign Language expression for applause and is deemed a more inclusive gesture.
At the union’s first meeting of the year, Sara Khan, who is Manchester University’s liberation and access officer, argued that traditional applause was not sufficiently “accessible.” The union resolved to ban clapping in favour of “jazz hands,” and urged “student groups and societies to do the same.”
The students’ union also plans to make “BSL clapping” part of inclusion training for new students.
The union noted that “loud noises, including whooping and traditional applause, could pose an issue for students with disabilities, such as those with anxiety or sensory issues.” Jazz hands should be favoured at debates, panels and talks as well as at meetings of the student senate, it said.
Students who whoop, cheer and clap should face ‘consequences’
“Jazz hands” were adopted by the National Union of Students (NUS) in 2015 on the basis that clapping “triggers anxiety.” Delegates at last year’s NUS conference said that students who whoop, cheer and clap should face “consequences.”
Audience members were repeatedly warned that they must cease whooping to express support for a speaker because it had a “serious impact” on the accessibility of the conference for disabled students.
Critics of the move say that such behaviour is typical of an over-sensitive “snowflake generation” of students who are quick to take offence. Last year it emerged that Oxford University’s equality and diversity unit had issued guidance to students advising them that those who avoided making eye contact with their peers could be guilty of racism.
The University of Glasgow started issuing “trigger warnings” for theology students studying the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, whereby students would be told in advance that they may see distressing images and would be given the opportunity to leave the room.
Let’s silently hear it for jazz hands! Getty Images
Earlier this year, If, Rudyard Kipling’s poem of paternal advice, was scrubbed off a Manchester University building by university students who claimed he was a racist on the basis that the poem was a tribute to Leander Starr Jameson, the British colonial statesman who led the Jameson Raid against the South African Republic in 1895-6.
Student leaders at the university declared that Kipling stood “for the opposite of liberation, empowerment, and human rights.”
The poem, which had been painted on the wall of the students’ union building by an artist, was removed by students in a bid to reclaim history on behalf of those who had been oppressed by “the likes of Kipling.”
A union spokesman said the hand gesture referred to as “jazz hands” was “designed to support those with disabilities and/or sensory conditions to participate in events.”
They added: “Students’ unions strive to make their events welcoming to all of their students by acknowledging their experiences and responding to their needs.”
A spokesman for Manchester University said: “We consider this a matter for the Students’ Union.”