fri 24/02/2017

book reviews of books about culture

Sunday Book: Jake Arnott - The Fatal Tree

Matthew Wright

Novelist Jake Arnott has an eye for seedy glamour. The Fatal Tree takes the 1720s underworld - the setting of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, one of the most successful of all...

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'My father Sabahattin Ali is being rediscovered'

Filiz Ali

I was 11 years old when my father was killed. A body was found near the border between Turkey and Bulgaria....

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Sunday Book: Philip Hook - Rogues' Gallery

Florence Hallett

The art dealers of today must be thanking their lucky stars that Philip Hook’s remarkable history of their trade stops where it does. For while it serves as an eminently useful if rather...

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The private life of Stefan Zweig in England

jasper Rees

On 23 February 1942 at half past four in the afternoon in a secluded Brazilian hilltown called Petrópolis about an hour from Rio, a maid and her husband pushed at the bedroom door of a modest...

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Sunday Book: Neil Gaiman - Norse Mythology

Boyd Tonkin

Odin the All-Father, “lord of the slain, the gallows god”, has two ravens that “perch on his shoulders and whisper into his ears” as he wanders in disguise around the world. They are Huginn and...

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Sunday Book: Daniel Levitin - A Field Guide to Lies and Statistics

Peter Forbes

Daniel Levitin makes one reference to Donald Trump in this book (to the latter’s claim to have seen on TV...

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Dr Michael Scott: How to make the most of globalisation

Michael Scott

The Guardian called Brexit “a rejection of globalisation.” That’s as may be, but the reality is we cannot, however much we might want to, check out of the globalised world in which...

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Sunday Book: Tessa Hadley - Bad Dreams

Boyd Tonkin

In one of Tessa Hadley’s piercingly smart and subtle tales, a woman whose upwardly-mobile path has taken her from Leeds to Philadelphia works for a firm that manufactures instruments to test the “...

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Sunday Book: James Lee Burke - The Jealous Kind

Liz Thomson

In the heat of a Texas summer, Aaron Holland Broussard comes of age. It’s 1952:  the two world wars still cast their long shadows and, far away, the Americans are fighting the Russians in a...

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Sunday Book: Michel Houellebecq - Unreconciled: Poems 1991-2013

Boyd Tonkin

The American poet-critic Randall Jarrell once entitled a collection of essays A Sad Heart at the Supermarket. He might have enjoyed Michel Houellebecq’s poem “Hypermarket - November”. Its...

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