Category Archives: Books

Russell Baker: a gift ‘for fooling around with words’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – The great New York Times columnist Russell Baker, who has died aged 93, was one of my journalistic heroes and when I interviewed him in 1989 he turned out to be everything I’d hoped. He … Continue reading

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Ed McBain tops my 2018 reading list

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Evan Hunter was an American writer who wrote several novels that were made into movies including Richard Brooks’s ‘Blackboard Jungle’ (above) starring Glenn Ford and featuring Sidney Poitier and Vic Morrow but known best for … Continue reading

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What Jackie Collins discovered about men in Hollywood

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Jackie Collins, who died on Sept. 19 of breast cancer aged 77, was a far more thoughtful person than her raunchy writing might suggest and not at all the diva that older sister Joan Collins … Continue reading

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20 David Niven movies you should see

By Ray Bennett David Niven, who was born 105 years ago today and died aged 73 in 1983, gave Ron Base and me the best quote of all time. The Oscar-winning British actor was on a book tour to promote … Continue reading

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Why vet and author James Herriot never got rich

By Ray Bennett The stories of veterinarean James Herriot, who wrote “All Creatures Great and Small” and died 20 years ago today aged 79, remain immensely popular and they attract many tourists to Yorkshire but they did not make him … Continue reading

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Warrior Andy McNab loves a good story like ‘Mamma Mia’

By Ray Bennett Things you might know about Andy McNab: He was a highly decorated SAS soldier; he wrote the bestselling “Bravo Two Zero” about his time in combat in the Gulf War; and he writes action thrillers, the latest … Continue reading

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TIFF 2014: A tale of three Equalizers

By Ray Bennett File under “it’s a small world”: I’m at my old pal Ron Base’s place in Milton for a Sunday brunch chatting with another guest, Hans Gerhardt, who ran the Sutton Place Hotel in Toronto when it was … Continue reading

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When Tom Clancy told me he was going mad

Tom Clancy, who has died aged 66, made a huge impact with his first novels in the 1980s – “The Hunt For Red October”, “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger” (pictured), which in turn became major motion pictures. In … Continue reading

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THEATRE REVIEW; ‘Vernon God Little’ at the Young Vic

By Ray Bennett LONDON – The Young Vic’s new production of “Vernon God Little”, based on DBC Pierre’s 2003 Booker Prize-winning novel, tries to jam in as many of its characters, incidents and ideas as possible, but ends up in … Continue reading

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Magic and mischief in Ron Base’s novel, ‘The Strange’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Few writers know Hollywood better than my Canadian friend Ron Base. As a reporter, film critic, magazine writer, screenwriter and novelist, he has explored the magic of the movies in many ways. But Toronto-based Base … Continue reading

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