Straw Dogs – review

Forty years ago my main regular writing spot was a weekly page of general commentary on the arts for the New Statesman, and due to the current discussion provoked by Julian Barnes's The Sense of an Ending and the appearance of Rod Lurie's 40th anniversary remake of Straw Dogs, two of the items in the column of 2 December 1971 have a certain topical interest. One is about the third winner of the Booker prize, of which I observed: "Vs Naipaul's In a Free State is a splendid book but is it, as the Booker conditions demand, a full-length novel?"

The other is about a film that had opened the previous week: "I was at the press show for Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs, and rarely have I experienced such a palpable sense of shock and disgust sweep through an audience. Peckinpah is an artist I admire immensely and I wouldn't want to ban his film,
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