sat 25/05/2019

book reviews and features

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

Katie Colombus

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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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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