tue 20/02/2024

book reviews and features

Patrick Duff: The Singer review - agony and ecstasy of a rock'n'roll life

mark Kidel

As our favourite rock stars become elders, there has been a steady flow of autobiographies, some ghosted, some...

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Patti Smith: A Book of Days review - adding to Insta's debris

Hugh Barnes

On April Fool’s Day, in 1978, the godmother of American punk, Patti Smith, jumped offstage at the Rainbow Theatre in...

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Derek Owusu: Losing the Plot review - the finest perfume

Harriet Mercer

Derek Owusu’s debut That Reminds Me won the Desmond Elliot Prize in 2020. When asked what it was that she loved most about Owusu’s semi-autobiographical 117-page book, Preti Taneja, chair...

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Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of the Imagination, Science Museum review - travel to a galaxy not so far away

Jon Turney

Scenes that stay in the mind: Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator peeling back the skin on his forearm to reveal the gleaming machinery within; a beady-eyed, new-born Alien bursting from John...

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Annie Proulx: Fen, Bog & Swamp review - defending the wetlands' bounty

India Lewis

Annie Proulx’s Fen, Bog & Swamp sees the Pulitzer-winning novelist join a number of authors decrying the ecological devastation we’re wreaking on the planet. James Rebanks’ ...

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Cormac McCarthy: The Passenger review - abstruse, descriptive, digressive

India Lewis

Cormac McCarthy’s first books in over a decade are coming out this year, a month apart from one another. The Passenger tells the story of deep-sea diver Bobby Western, desperately in love...

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Mariana Enriquez: Our Share of Night review - delving into a violent, erotic world

India Lewis

Tense with horror and the sticky darkness of the Argentinian night, Mariana Enriquez’s writing is rich and occult. Her epic novel, Our Share of Night, vividly translated from the Spanish...

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William Boyd: The Romantic review - historical soap opera, anyone?

Hugh Barnes

Writing in the Edinburgh Review in 1814, Francis Jeffrey began his review of Wordsworth’s The Excursion with a provocative denunciation of romanticism: “This will never do,” he...

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Andrew Murray: Is Socialism Possible in Britain? review - what went wrong and why Corbynism failed

Hugh Barnes

The title of Andrew Murray’s new book poses a question that also vexed Friedrich Engels over 130 years ago. The German co-...

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Savala Nolan: Don't Let It Get You Down review - finding voice in the liminal

Hannah Hutching

Liminal: a word that conjures thresholds and between states. Caught between three languages – the adjective is a borrowing from the Latin that enters English by way of German – ...

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The Way, BBC One review - steeltown blues

This three-part drama arrives trailing clouds of big-byline...

Dance for Ukraine Gala, London Palladium review - a second r...

It’s tempting to see the second gala created by Ukrainian-born Ivan Putrov as a reflection of the shift in Ukraine’s fortunes since his first one...

Sheila Heti: Alphabetical Diaries review - an A-Z of inner l...

After a first read of the blurb for Sheila Heti’s Alphabetical Diaries, you might be forgiven for assuming that this is merely a gimmick...

Blu-ray: Jerzy Skolimowski - Walkower, Bariera, Dialóg 20-40...

Diving into this three-disc set of early films by maverick...

Kin, Series 2, BBC One review - when crime dynasties collide

The end of the first series of Kin found Dublin’s Kinsella crime family ridding themselves of bloodsucking...

Fung, BBC Philharmonic, Weilerstein, Bridgewater Hall, Manch...

Placing the UK premiere of Katherine Balch’s whisper concerto (for cello and orchestra) after...

Paul Foot, Soho Theatre review - how to discover the meaning...

It's probably fair to say that Paul Foot is an acquired taste for some; his absurdist, poetic comedy isn't for everyone but he has built a strong...

Album: MGMT - Loss of Life

The dolefulness of the title Loss of Life is reflected by what’s in the grooves. The lyrics of the Todd Rundgren/Queen-esque fifth track...

Music Reissues Weekly: Lou Christie - Gypsy Bells

Lou Christie fancied offering some social comment. The lyrics of his May 1967 single “Self Expression (The Kids on the Street Will Never Give in...

Turning the Screw, King’s Head Theatre review - Britten and...

David Hemmings was, by his own later admission, a knowing and bumptious boy when Britten cast him as the ill-fated Miles in his operatic...

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