thu 13/08/2020

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

Isabella Gallagher

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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AIM Awards 2020, SBTV review - a game attempt to rewire awar...

Music awards shows are a strange beast: part window display, part industry conference and part party. Especially if you don’t have Brit Awards or...

Charles Owen, Fidelio Orchestra Café review - high-profile,...

Composer Gian-Carlo Menotti once asked rhetorically what society wanted of performing artists – “the bread of life or the after-dinner mint?”...

Album: Biffy Clyro - A Celebration of Endings

Together for over 20 years and with a string of incredibly successful albums, the...

Fanny and Stella, Garden Theatre review - a saucy slice of q...

In a purgatorial summer, this boisterous, camp and chaotically charming...

Cuba: Castro vs the World, BBC Two - turbulent life and time...

During World War Two, President Franklin D Roosevelt described the USA as “the arsenal of democracy”. Only a couple of decades later, Fidel Castro...

The Telephone, Scottish Opera/Cargill, RSNO, Søndergård, Edi...

Lockdown, perhaps more than any other time, has amplified how ...

New Music Unlocked 5: Biffy Clyro, Rave the Vote, Little Sim...

Although Metallica are screening a freshly recorded concert across America’s drive-in cinemas at the end of the month, we’re no nearer to actual...

Album: James Dean Bradfield - Even In Exile

One of the most evocative tracks on James Dean Bradfield’s second solo album is hardly his at all. The Manic Street Preacher takes “La...

Matt Haig: The Midnight Library review - an uplifting modern...

TW: This article discusses suicide, suicidal ideation, antidepressants and self-harm 

We first meet Nora Seed, “nineteen years before...

The Adulterer, Channel 4 review - atmospheric, addictive and...

It has taken a good half decade for the Dutch series ...

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