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Tales of Persuasion, a collection of eleven perfectly crafted stories, shows Philip Hensher is at the height of his powers. On a summer’s day a young boy is bullied with snow-bullets preserved in a chest freezer. A sick man, trying desperately to hang on to what remains of his marriage, is ferried around London by a carer who couldn’t care less. A Soho hedonist far from home finds himself worrying about global grievances for the first time in his life.