wed 18/09/2019

book reviews and features

Lisa Halliday: Asymmetry review - unconventional and brilliant

Katherine Waters

Lisa Halliday’s striking debut novel consists of three parts. The first follows the blooming relationship between Alice and Ezra (...

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Rhidian Brook on The Killing of Butterfly Joe

Rhidian Brook

When I was 23 I had a job selling butterflies in glass cases in America. I worked for a guy who, as well as...

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Ursula K Le Guin - Dreams Must Explain Themselves review - enraging and enlightening

Marina Vaizey

Essay collections are happily mainstream now, from Zadie Smith to Oliver Sacks, with more and more bits and bobs coming from unexpected quarters. These patchwork quilts from remarkable writers can...

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John Tusa: 'the arts must make a noise' - interview

Liz Thomson

In our era of 24/7 news, downloadable from anywhere in the world at the touch of an app, it's hard to...

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Mick Herron: London Rules review - hypnotically fascinating, absolutely contemporary

Marina Vaizey

London Rules – explicitly cover your arse – is the fifth in the most remarkable and mesmerising series of ...

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Roma Agrawal: Built review - solid love

Katherine Waters

"I've been known to stroke concrete," writes self-professed geek Roma Agrawal – and from the very beginning of her memoir-cum-introduction...

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Joe Dunthorne: The Adulterants review - a richly illuminating comedy of disappointment

Jasper Rees

Joe Dunthorne's debut novel Submarine (2008) burrowed plausibly inside the head of a teenager...

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Afua Hirsch: Brit(ish) review - essential reading on identity

Marina Vaizey

Usually extracts in newspapers should stimulate the appetite of the reader to get with it; this is a rare moment when the glimpses afforded to Afua Hirsch’s Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and...

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Julian Barnes: The Only Story review - passion, pain and sorrow in Surrey

Boyd Tonkin

From his debut Metroland, right up to the Man Booker-winning The Sense of an Ending, the prospect of a road not taken has haunted the mild and mediocre narrators of Julian Barnes...

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Dave Eggers: The Monk of Mokha review - how to become a grand master of coffee

Markie Robson-Scott

A macchiato may never taste the same again. If you’ve ever wondered about the politics and history behind your cup of designer coffee, The Monk of Mokha will answer all your questions,...

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