thu 16/08/2018

book reviews and features

Robert Gordon: Memphis Rent Party review - a fast-moving Mississippi anthology

Sebastian Scotney

“There’s a rhythm in the air around Memphis, there always has been,” Carl Perkins once said. "I don't know what it is, but it's magic." The city on the Mississippi lives up to its...

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Meg Wolitzer: The Female Persuasion review - the many faces of feminism

Markie Robson-Scott

Meg Wolitzer’s 10th novel has been hailed as a breakthrough, a feminist blockbuster, an embodiment of the zeitgeist. (Nicole Kidman has bought the film rights, which goes to show.) But...

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Frank Gardner: Ultimatum review - topical terrorism

marina Vaizey

The journalist Frank Gardner has turned to fiction to illuminate with imagination the world that he knows inside out from years of reporting. His biographical trajectory, from scholar of the...

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Sophie Mackintosh: The Water Cure review - on the discipline of survival

Katherine Waters

A body can be pushed to the brink, to the point where thoughts flatten to a line of light, and come back from death, but the heart is complex and the damage it wreaks barely controllable. For...

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The World Of Moominvalley, Brighton Festival review - a fascinating insight into the world of Tove Jansson

Katie Colombus

It was no matter that journalist Daniel Hahn dropped out ill at the 11th hour of this "audience with" event. Author Philip Ardagh's deep knowledge and unflappable demeanour comfortably carried the...

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William Trevor: Last Stories review - final intimations

marina Vaizey

An Irishman who spent more than half a century in London and then Devon, and a prolific writer – nearly 20 novels...

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Clancy Sigal: The London Lover review - a merry prankster's very long weekend

Liz Thomson

To readers of newspapers and magazines, the name Clancy Sigal will be very familiar, probably as a film reviewer. Addicted to...

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Mario Vargas Llosa: The Neighbourhood review - a surprisingly sketchy telenovela

Jasper Rees

Mario Vargas Llosa has written a thriller which opens eye-poppingly. Two wives, one staying over with...

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Christie Watson: The Language of Kindness review - tender memoir, impassioned indignation

marina Vaizey

Anecdotal story-telling wrapped up in hypnotic prose, Christie Watson’s narrative is a gentle, emotive five-part layered package of reflection and indignation. It is part...

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John Gray: Seven Types of Atheism review - to believe, or not to believe

marina Vaizey

To suggest an absence is to imply a presence. Philosophers, novelists, dictators, politicians – as well as almost every “ism” you can think of – take the stage in this absorbing, precisely and...

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