There are moments when the mask slips, when his failure to truly engage with the humanity of the victims and survivors shines through. He often appeals to a ‘we’ that is all too clearly a cypher for his own responses to the event. “All over Britain, the sight of the burning tower gave people a horrible sense of dread followed by a sense of relief,” he writes, as though it is a matter of public record, a fact as indisputable as the number of 999 calls, or the square-meterage of the building. This slippage reveals the power of O’Hagan’s rhetoric. In an article that purports to be a dispassionate, objective account of events, a speculative statement that is predicated entirely on the (clearly ridiculous) notion that Andrew O’Hagan has unlimited access to the interior worlds of “people all over Britain” passes by almost unnoticed. [...] Reading the piece, I almost fell for it; I doubted myself, I questioned myself, I looked back over last year’s writings to try and re-attune to the person I was back then. And I’m as certain as I can be that Grenfell did not make me feel “alive” or “exhilarated”. It made me feel sad, and angry, and powerless. It made me mourn for days. The summer grew dark. I felt the fear and the sadness in my bones. “No man is an island,” as the poem goes—except, perhaps, for Andrew O’Hagan.