sat 22/02/2020

book reviews and features

theartsdesk Q&A: Robert MacFarlane's Spell Songs

Tim Cumming

With books including Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places, The Old Ways and Landmarks, Robert MacFarlane has established himself as one of the...

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Chloe Aridjis: Sea Monsters review - a teenage bestiary

Katherine Waters

We've all been there. The disappointing fling. The gently shattered illusions. The abortive holiday eliding languor and boredom. Teenage ennui. Revels peopled by runaways. Talking animals. Talking...

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Kristen Roupenian: You Know You Want This review - twisted tales

Marina Vaizey

A one-night stand between a female college student, Margot, whose part-time job is selling snacks at the cinema, and thirtyish Robert, a customer, goes pathetically awry. It was disappointing,...

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Michael Peppiatt: The Existential Englishman review - we'll always have Paris

Marina Vaizey

In this memoir, subtitled “Paris Among the Artists”, Michael Peppiatt presents his 1960s self as an absorbed,...

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Magda Szabó: Katalin Street review - love after life

Katherine Waters

This is a love story and a ghost story. The year is 1934 and the Held family have moved from the countryside to an elegant house on...

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John Lanchester: The Wall review - dystopia cut adrift

Boyd Tonkin

John Lanchester’s fifth novel begins with a kind of coded warning to the reader – and, perhaps, to the author too. Freezing conditions plague life on the defensive wall – or “National Coastal...

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Best of 2018: Books

Boyd Tonkin

Reasons to be cheerful? A fortissimo blast of anguish and foreboding currently sounds from both those end-of-year round-ups that look back over the past twelve months, and the doomy previews that...

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Timothy Day: I Saw Eternity the Other Night review - heavenly harmony, earthly discord

Boyd Tonkin

In 1955, Sylvia Plath attended the Advent Carol Service at King’s College in Cambridge. Like countless other visitors, listeners and viewers before and since, she was entranced by “the tall chapel...

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Ed Vulliamy: When Words Fail review - the band plays on

David Nice

If you're seeking ideas for new playlists and diverse suggestions for reading - and when better to look than at this time of year? - then beware: you may be overwhelmed by the infectious...

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Boris Akunin: Black City review - a novel to sharpen the wits

Marina Vaizey

It is 1914 – a fateful year for assassinations, war and revolution. The fictional Erast Petrovich Fandorin,...

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