The Ghost is a contemporary political thriller by the best-selling English novelist and journalist Robert Harris. In 2010, the novel was adapted into a film, The Ghost Writer, directed by Roman Polanski and starring Pierce Brosnan, for which Polanski and Harris co-wrote the screenplay. In 2007 British prime minister Tony Blair resigned. Harris, a former Fleet Street political editor, dropped his other work to write the book; the ghost of the title refers both to a professional ghostwriter, whose lengthy memorandum forms the novel, to his immediate predecessor who, as the action opens, has just drowned in mysterious circumstances. The dead man had been ghosting the autobiography of a unseated British prime minister named Adam Lang, a thinly disguised version of Blair; the fictional counterpart of Cherie Blair is depicted as a sinister manipulator of her husband. So astonishing are the implied allegations of the roman à clef that, had it concerned a lesser figure and were Harris a less eminent novelist, Britain's libel laws might have rendered publication impossible: Harris told The Guardian before publication, "The day this appears a writ might come through the door.
But I would doubt it, knowing him." The thriller acquires an added frisson from the fact that Harris was an early and enthusiastic backer of Blair and a donor to New Labour funds. The New York Observer, headlining its otherwise hostile review The Blair Snitch Project, commented that the book's "shock-horror revelation" was "so shocking it can't be true, though if it were it would explain pretty much everything about the recent history of Great Britain." Most of the action takes place on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, where Lang has been holed up in the holiday home of his billionaire American publisher to turn out his memoirs on a deadline. Other scenes are set in New York and Whitehall. Lang's former aide, Mike McAra, has been struggling to ghost the former politician's memoirs. But, as the novel opens, McAra drowns when he falls off the Woods Hole ferry; the fictional narrator of The Ghost, whose name is never revealed, is hired to replace him. His girlfriend walks out on him over his willingness to take the job: "She felt betrayed by him.
He soon suspects foul play and stumbles across evidence of possible motive, buried in Lang's Cambridge past. Having located what may be the lethal secret, the replacement ghostwriter begins to fear for his own safety. Meanwhile, like his real-life counterpart, has been accused by his enemies of war crimes. A leaked memorandum has revealed that he secretly approved the capture and extraordinary rendition of UK citizens to Guantanamo Bay to face interrogation and torture. Richard Rycart, Lang's disillusioned and renegade former foreign secretary, who before and during his early days in office made much of his wish to adopt an "ethical" foreign policy, is now at the UN, in a position to do his former boss serious damage. Unlike Blair, Lang thus appears in imminent threat of indictment at the International Criminal Court; the narrator tussles to reconcile his obligation to complete the ghosting job with its attendant abundant payment on the one hand and, on the other, the pressing need, as he sees it, to reveal Lang's true allegiances.
The action heats up when he contacts Rycart. The narrator comes under increasing jeopardy: romantically and politically, as well as physically. Harris said in a National Public Radio interview that politicians like Lang and Blair when they have been in office a long time, become divorced from everyday reality, read little, end up with a limited outlook; when it comes to writing their memoirs, they therefore tend to have all the more need of a ghostwriter. Harris hinted at a third and far less obvious allusion hidden in the novel's title, which may have served as the motive for writing the novel in the first place. Blair, he said, had in effect been a ghostwriter of sorts to President George W. Bush when giving public reasons for invading Iraq, arguing the case better than had the President, although attributing that better argument to Bush; the novel is dedicated to Robert Harris's wife Gill. In November 2007 it was announced, he and Harris would be writing the script. The cast was at first to consist of Nicolas Cage as the ghost, Pierce Brosnan as Adam Lang, with Tilda Swinton as Ruth Lang and Kim Cattrall as Lang's assistant Amelia Bly.
Filming was delayed and a year it was announced that Ewan McGregor would play the ghost instead of Cage and Olivia Williams would take over the role of Ruth Lang. The film was a French-German-British joint production, with Babelsberg Studios near Berlin having a central role and most scenes those from Martha's Vineyard, were shot in Germany. Harris was quoted as saying, "I want to be sure it's out before Tony Blair's own memoirs are published."Polanski was arrested by Swiss police in September 2009 on his way to the Zurich Film Festival. Babelsberg Studios announced that production was put on hold. However, Polanski continued working on post-production from his house arrest in Switzerland; the film, retitled The Ghost Writer, premiered at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival on 12 February 2010. Daily Telegraph review The Ghost Writer on IMDb Arcadia Institution Website The Ghost at the Internet Book List
The 1888 AHAC season was the second season of the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada. Play was in a series format; the Montreal Hockey Club would win a playoff against the Montreal Victorias to win the Canadian championship for the first time. The league at its annual meeting of November 9, 1887, decided to change the method of play for the season to a'series' between the teams of the AHAC; each team would play every other team twice. Ottawa did not participate in the season. ExecutivePresident: J. J. Arnton, Victorias 1st Vice president: J. A. Stewart, Montreal 2nd Vice president: H. A. Budden, McGill Secretary-treasurer: W. E. Stenvenson, Victorias Council: A. L. Shanks, McGill. † National Champion March 15 - Montreal HC 2, Montreal Victorias 1, at Crystal RinkThe playing of the game was tarnished with some scandal. The AHAC council convened to set the date of the playoff. Two players for the Victorias, Ashe and J. J. Arnton Jr. were injured, the council set the date for the playoff before the players were recovered.
The deciding vote for the date was cast by J. Stewart. Hodgson of Montreal scored the first goal at 4½ minutes, followed two minutes by a goal of Campbell for the Vics. 5½ minutes Hodgson lifted a shot past Arnton in the Vic's goal to put Montreal ahead to stay. The Vics protested. There was no more scoring in the match; the Montreal Daily Herald reporter praised referee Hamilton of the McGill Club, noting that both side broke the off-side rule often. Source: "Before the Trail of the Stanley Cup" Note: GP = Games played, GA = Goals against, SO = Shutouts, GAA = Goals against average Source: Kitchen 2000, p. 11 Kitchen, Paul, "Before The Trail of the Stanley Cup", in Diamond, Total Hockey, pp. 8–15, ISBN 1-892129-85-X Weir, Glen. Ultimate Hockey. Stoddart Publishing