wed 13/12/2017

book reviews and features

Eureka: novelist Anthony Quinn on completing his acclaimed trilogy

Anthony Quinn

I am intrigued by those writers who plan their novels with the bristling rigour of a military strategist,...

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Jonathan Miles: St Petersburg review - culture and calamity

marina Vaizey

Talk about survival: St Petersburg, Petrograd, Leningrad, now again St Petersburg, all the same...

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Chris Patten: First Confession - A Sort of Memoir review - remembrances of government and power

Liz Thomson

It’s 25 years since Chris Patten lost his seat as Conservative MP for Bath. The 1992 election was called by...

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Brenda Maddox: Reading the Rocks review - revelations of geology

marina Vaizey

Reading the Rocks has a provocative subtitle, “How Victorian Geologists Discovered the Secret of Life”, indicating the role of...

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John Man: Amazons review - the real warrior women of the ancient world

mark Kidel

As Wonder Woman hits screens worldwide, the publication of a book that explores the myth and...

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David Sedaris: Theft By Finding review - comic literary talent of historic value

Matthew Wright

In a voice of distinctive, high-pitched nasal whimsy, comic essayist and memoirist David Sedaris finds humour with the precision of a mosquito after blood. British...

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Andrew O'Hagan: The Secret Life review – troubling tales from the online underground

Boyd Tonkin

Imagine that you come across a story by a journalist who, writing for the Daily Mail or The Sun, steals the identity of a real young man from a poor neighbourhood of south-east...

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Elif Batuman: The Idiot review - memories of student life and travels meander

marina Vaizey

University, anyone? Student days? If you were ever an undergraduate, who does not remember the simultaneous sense of dislocation and excitement, the feeling of the familiar combined with a heady...

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Peter Ackroyd: Queer City - London's gay life over two millennia

tom Birchenough

2017 is proving the year of celebrating queer. To mark 50 years of the decriminalisation of homosexuality, we...

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Evgeny Kissin: Memoirs and Reflections review - Russian education, European conviction, Jewish heritage

david Nice

"Generally speaking," writes Evgeny Kissin in one of the many generous tributes to those whose artistry he most admires, "the mastery of [Carlo Maria] Giulini is exactly what is dearest of all to...

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The Chineke! Orchestra has won golden opinions for its ground-breaking work and musical achievement, and Manchester caught up to the extent of a...

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Cell Mates, Hampstead Theatre review - intriguing yet opaque

The play that famously got away when one of its stars (quite literally) jumped ship is back. In 1995, Stephen Fry abandoned the...

From Life, Royal Academy review - perplexingly aimless

Dedicated to a foundation stone of western artistic training, this exhibition attempts a celebratory note as the...

Blue Planet II, BBC One review - just how fragile?

The eel is dying. Its body flits through a series of complicated knots which become increasingly grotesque torques. Immersed in a pool of brine —...

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