sat 22/02/2020

book reviews and features

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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Neil MacGregor: Living with the Gods review - focuses of belief

Marina Vaizey

Dip in, dip out, argue, agree and disagree: Living with the Gods is the newest manifestation of a rich multimedia format that keeps on giving, devised by that superb writer and lecturer,...

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