tue 07/07/2020

book reviews and features

Ali Smith: Spring review – green shoots, dark fears

Boyd Tonkin

Stopped in the street for a vox pop by a BBC interviewer keen to “fill your air” with strife and bile, a character in Spring retorts that “there’s a world out there bigger than Brexit,...

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Karl Ove Knausgaard: So Much Longing in So Little Space review – smiles more than screams

Boyd Tonkin

Around the works canteen, a dozen huge wall-paintings depict, in bright cheerful colours spread across radically stylised forms, happy scenes of women and men at work and play beside a sunlit sea...

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David Hepworth: A Fabulous Creation review - how vinyl soothed our souls and defined our being

Liz Thomson

Record Store Day is now a fixture on the calendar, a key element in “the vinyl revival”, and this year – 13 April –...

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Fiona MacCarthy: Walter Gropius review - a master of modernism

Marina Vaizey

The centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus (literally, “Building House”) art school is on us, prompting publications and exhibitions worldwide. Subtitled “Visionary Founder of the Bauhaus”,...

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Robert Menasse: The Capital review - much more than just an EU satire

David Nice

Forty years ago this July, Simone Veil gave her inaugural speech as first President of the European Parliament. She had many issues to include. Peace came first; as a survivor of Auschwitz and the...

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Sadie Jones: The Snakes review - lacking feeling

Katherine Waters

Bea and Dan are a young married couple. They have a mortgage on their small flat in Holloway and met while out clubbing in Peckham. She’s a plain-looking, modest and hard-working psychotherapist;...

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George Szirtes: The Photographer at Sixteen review – how grief becomes art

Boyd Tonkin

How long does it take for grief to crystallise into art? No timetable can ever set that date. The poet George Szirtes’s mother took her own life, after previous attempts, during the hot summer of...

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Sam Bourne: To Kill the Truth review - taut thriller of big ideas

Marina Vaizey

Great libraries burning, historians murdered: someone somewhere is removing the past by obliterating the ways...

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Richard J Evans: Eric Hobsbawm - A Life in History review - mesmerisingly readable

Marina Vaizey

This is an astonishing book: in its breadth, depth and detail and also in its almost palpable, and sometimes unpalatable, admiration of its...

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Tana French: The Wych Elm review - a lucky man and his downfall

Markie Robson-Scott

A Tana French crime novel is never just a thriller. Probably more acclaimed in the USA than the UK (she gets rave reviews in the New Yorker and the New York Times) French always...

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'She spoke through her violin': Steven Isserlis on...

So Ida has left us – a legend has departed. What a...

Bette Howland: Blue in Chicago review – the city on trial, w...

You feel at times, while reading the collection Blue in Chicago,...

Blu-ray: Tokyo Story / The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice

Yasujirō Ozu’s The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice and Tokyo Story were released in 1952 and 1953 respectively. Tokyo Story...

Album: Rufus Wainwright - Unfollow the Rules

After Unfollow the Rules: The Paramour Session and the...

Terri White: Coming Undone review - a British journalist unr...

The journalistic addiction-memoir is a crowded genre these days: Details editor Dan Perez chronicles his massive intake of Vicodin and...

Camille Laurens: Little Dancer Aged Fourteen review - the st...

Edgar Degas is famous for his depictions of ballet dancers. His drawings, paintings and...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Philip Rambow - The Rebel Kind

“Strange Destinies” is the first track. “Take your eyes off me Svengali” is its memorable opening phrase. Conjuring up Van Morrison, Tom Petty,...

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