Thursday, 8 May 2014

Walter R Walsh gunned down the Brady gang, among other gangsters, when he was working for the FBI. He trained marksmen in World War II, shot a Japanese sniper with a single pistol shot at 80 yards, captained American shooting teams in his eighties, still not wearing glasses, and died recently at the age of 107. His NYT obit (thank you Marie Phillips) is great, and ends like this: Three weeks after Mr. Walsh’s 100th birthday, a grandson, Sgt. Nicholas R. Walsh, a reconnaissance team leader with Charlie Company, First Platoon of the First Marine Division, was killed by sniper fire in Fallujah, Iraq.

My friend Ian Leslie's book Curious is launched today, I think. He's really good and I am one of a billion people who wish he'd stop looking after his daughter and start writing Marbury again. I loved this piece about the Mona Lisa.

Performance Enhancing Drugs are not stigmatised in Hollywood even though they provide the same competitive advantages for actors that they provide for sportsmen. Fairly obvious reasons - sports is about truth, drama is not - but it's fun and lets me link again, just in case you didn't read it, to this Grantland article on Luis Suarez. Non-football fans, believe me, the writing is good enough for you to enjoy the first bit, and the last quarter is brilliant.

What do bankers think of bankers? Barclays has ditched large chunks of its investment arm and its shares have immediately gone up 3.5% (I know it is much more complicated than this. Tangent: a great long article on the scandal of managed funds with huge numbers of lobbyists reducing the value of pension funds which should have been invested gently into trackers.)

The Irish Times reviewed The Dazzle last weekend. It's a lovely review and I am grateful, although the timing is definitely eccentric. I now imagine Claire Looby sitting with an unbelievably massive pile of books, gritting her teeth and going, 'I'm bloody well going to get through them all. I am.'

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