mon 17/12/2018

book reviews and features

Boris Akunin: Black City review - a novel to sharpen the wits

marina Vaizey

It is 1914 – a fateful year for assassinations, war and revolution. The fictional Erast Petrovich Fandorin,...

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Global fiction: the pick of 2018

Boyd Tonkin

If you believe the bulk of the “books of the year” features that drift like stray tinsel across the media at this time of year, Britain’s literary taste-makers only enjoy the flavours of the...

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Matthew Dennison: Eternal Boy review – the banker who stayed forever young

Boyd Tonkin

In Ian McEwan’s 1987 novel The Child in Time, a high-powered publisher and politician named Charles Darke quits his posts, regresses to a child-like state, and frolics in the woods like a...

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Daša Drndić: Belladonna review - a tragicomic journey into Europe's darkness

Boyd Tonkin

Daša Drndić, the Croatian author who died in June aged 71, has posthumously won the second Warwick Prize for Women in Translation for her coruscating novel Belladonna. The award, set up...

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Dramatic Exchanges review - a brilliant slice of theatre history

marina Vaizey

Dramatic Exchanges is a dazzling array of correspondence, stretching over more than a century, between...

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Michael Connelly: Dark Sacred Night review - a pairing of loner detectives

marina Vaizey

The master of the Southern California...

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Michael Caine: Blowing the Bloody Doors Off review - an actor's handbook, annotated by experience

marina Vaizey

What a charmer! An irresistible combination of diffidence and confidence, Michael Caine is so much more than Alfie...

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Julian Baggini: How the World Thinks review - a whirlwind tour of ideas

marina Vaizey

The intrepid philosopher Julian Baggini has travelled the world, going to academic conferences, interviewing scores of practicing philosophers from academics to gurus, trying to figure out and pin...

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Barbara Kingsolver: Unsheltered review - too many issues

Markie Robson-Scott

“When men fear the loss of what they know, they will follow any tyrant who promises to restore the old order.” Mary Treat, the real-life 19th-century botanist who is one of the characters in...

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Simon Sebag Montefiore: Written in History review - epistolary high points

marina Vaizey

Humdinger! This is a totally brilliant idea for an amazing anthology, although the subtitle “Letters that Changed...

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Free Solo review - unbearable and glorious

Alex Honnold is part of a unique and often mythologised faction of the rock climbing community. To “free solo” is to climb without ropes or...

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Like a supermarket "Christmas Dinner" sandwich, cramming the delights of a full festive lunch into every bite, Epiphoni Consort’s...

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Matthew Bourne has been a significant experimental and collaborative presence on the scene since 2001, when he won the Perrier Jazz...

Boris Akunin: Black City review - a novel to sharpen the wit...

It is 1914 – a fateful year for assassinations, war and revolution. The...

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In April 1973, John Peel wrote that “For my money, Tangerine...

Albums of the Year 2018: Black Merlin - Kosua

Kosua was released only last month, but its journey began two years ago when George Thompson, aka Black Merlin, released Hipnotik...

The Convert, Young Vic review - Africa's electric cry f...

Wow! First, the Black Panther team took cinema by storm; now, they have conquered theatre as well. Or, at least, two of them have. ...

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