wed 26/06/2019

book reviews and features

Joe Dunthorne: The Adulterants review - a richly illuminating comedy of disappointment

Jasper Rees

Joe Dunthorne's debut novel Submarine (2008) burrowed plausibly inside the head of a teenager...

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Afua Hirsch: Brit(ish) review - essential reading on identity

Marina Vaizey

Usually extracts in newspapers should stimulate the appetite of the reader to get with it; this is a rare moment when the glimpses afforded to Afua Hirsch’s Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and...

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Julian Barnes: The Only Story review - passion, pain and sorrow in Surrey

Boyd Tonkin

From his debut Metroland, right up to the Man Booker-winning The Sense of an Ending, the prospect of a road not taken has haunted the mild and mediocre narrators of Julian Barnes...

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Dave Eggers: The Monk of Mokha review - how to become a grand master of coffee

Markie Robson-Scott

A macchiato may never taste the same again. If you’ve ever wondered about the politics and history behind your cup of designer coffee, The Monk of Mokha will answer all your questions,...

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Bruno Maçães: The Dawn of Eurasia review - middle of nowhere

Katherine Waters

Part travelogue and part broad analysis of the current and future challenges facing the EU, the premise of Bruno Maçães’s new book The Dawn of Eurasia is to “use travel to provide an...

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David Lodge: Writer’s Luck - A Memoir 1976-1991 review - literary days, in detail

Marina Vaizey

Metaphor, metonymy, simile and synecdoche, anyone? FR Leavis, Roman Jakobson, Jacques Derrida, Frank Kermode? If any of this, and more, turns you on, this lengthy...

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Nick Coleman: Voices - How a Great Singer Can Change Your Life, review - earworms explored

Liz Thomson

Readers familiar with Nick Coleman’s 2012 memoir The Train in the Night will know before embarking on this book that the author suffered the worst possible fate for a music journalist:...

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Best of 2017: Books

Boyd Tonkin

With a clownish bully currently installed in the White House, the 2017 Man Booker Prize aptly went to a...

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Nicholas Blincoe: Bethlehem - Biography of a Town review - too few wise men but remarkable women

Boyd Tonkin

Suitably enough, Nicholas Blincoe begins his personal ...

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Jenny Uglow: Mr Lear - A Life of Art and Nonsense review - a lonely Victorian life, so richly illustrated

Marina Vaizey

Jenny Uglow’s biography of Edward Lear (1812-1888) is a meander, almost day by day, through the long and...

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