tue 31/03/2020

book reviews and features

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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Martin Gayford: Modernists & Mavericks review - people, places and paint

Katherine Waters

Back in the early Sixties Lucian Freud was living in Clarendon Crescent, a condemned row of houses in...

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Barbara Ehrenreich: Natural Causes review - counterintuitive wisdom on the big issues

Marina Vaizey

“Wham bam, thank you, ma’am” might be one response to this polemical, wry, hilarious and affecting series of counterintuitive essays by one of the most original and unexpected thinkers around....

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Amy Sackville: Painter to the King review - portrait of the artist in shadow and light

Boyd Tonkin

Inevitably, the story begins and (almost) ends with Las Meninas. Inspired by the art and life of Diego Velázquez, Amy Sackville tops and tails her third novel with his endlessly enigmatic...

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Richard Vinen: The Long ’68 review - more impartial than impassioned

Liz Thomson

Born into the late 1950s, I was too young to be a 68er, though I remember watching it all on TV: the protests in Red...

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Irvine Welsh: Dead Men's Trousers review - Renton and Begbie make it safely to middle age

Matthew Wright

When it came out in 1993, Trainspotting was probably the most shocking novel since Lady Chatterley's Lover. It’s rumoured to have missed out on a Booker shortlisting...

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