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Book Review: The Blue Touch Paper by David Hare

By Michael Coveney   November 2015

Faber, £20 blue-touch-paper-small

David Hare’s beautifully abrasive memoir suggests, as with a firework, that you light the blue touch paper and stand back. Bristling with a magnificent arrogance, it coincides with a time in his playwriting career when he mines his own experience at Lancing College in the early 1960s in South Downs, commissioned as a companion piece to Terence Rattigan’s The Browning Version. Hare was unbottling his autobiography for the first time. His parents were dead—his father, a naval officer and full purser with the Peninsular and Oriental, had been away at…

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