sat 21/10/2017

fiction

Alan Hollinghurst: The Sparsholt Affair - pictures at an exhibition, with telling gaps

Television has paid its dues to the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act - rather feebly, with some rotten acting, in Man in an Orange Shirt; brilliantly, with mostly superb performances, in the monologue sequence Queers, surely due a second...

Read more...

Orhan Pamuk: Istanbul, Memories and the City review – a masterpiece upgraded

Along with Balzac’s Paris and Dickens’s London, Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul now ranks as one of the most illustrious author-trademarked cities in literary history. Yet, as Turkey’s Nobel laureate told me during a Southbank Centre interview last month, he...

Read more...

Robert Harris: Munich review - reselling Hitler

Robert Harris’s first book about Hitler told the story of the hoax diaries which seduced Rupert Murdoch and Hugh Trevor-Roper. After Selling Hitler (1986) came Fatherland (1992), another fake story about the Führer. In that alternative history the...

Read more...

Jason Webster: Fatal Sunset review - more flavoursome crime in Valencia

The sixth in a series of crime novels that began in 2011 with Or the Bull Kills You and which introduced readers to Chief Inspector Max Cámara, Fatal Sunset opens with our anarchistic hero summoned to see Rita Hernández, newly installed Commissioner...

Read more...

Emma Dibdin: 'Being scared of something is a sign you should write about it'

When I began writing my first novel four years ago, there were a few ideas that had coalesced in my mind. I knew I wanted to write a thriller about mental illness through the eyes of a young woman whose family had been defined by it; someone...

Read more...

Lisa Jewell: 'I’d never killed anyone before'

I started writing my first novel in 1995. I was 27 and I’d just come out of a dark, dark marriage to a controlling man who’d kept me more or less locked away from the world. I had no front door key, no phone, was not allowed to see my friends or my...

Read more...

Peter Høeg: The Susan Effect review - Nordic noir turns surreal

Peter Høeg is still overwhelmingly known for a novel published a quarter of a century ago. Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow featured a half-Inuit woman whose suspicion over a young neighbour’s death in Copenhagen lures her from Denmark back to...

Read more...

Sarah Hall: Madame Zero review – eerie tales of calamity and change

Five thousand miles away from her native Lake District, I first understood the eerie magnetism of Sarah Hall’s fiction. As a regional judge for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, I’d travelled to join the jury’s deliberations in Sri Lanka. I was keen...

Read more...

Michael Connelly: The Late Show review - mesmerising and believable characters

Readers have been committed fans since 1992, when the sometime crime reporter Michael Connelly turned novelist. Connelly’s best-known sequence has featured, over three decades now, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective Hieronymus Bosch...

Read more...

Eureka: novelist Anthony Quinn on completing his acclaimed trilogy

I am intrigued by those writers who plan their novels with the bristling rigour of a military strategist, drilling their characters like counters on a model battlefield. And impressed that they seem in absolute control of the direction their story...

Read more...

Arundhati Roy: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness review - brilliant fragments of divided India

Just as in the United States, the quest among Indian authors in English to deliver the single, knock-out novel that would capture their country’s infinite variety has long been the stuff of parody. More than two decades ago, the writer-politician...

Read more...

Muhsin Al-Ramli: 'During Saddam’s regime at least we knew who the enemy was' - interview

Saddam Hussein’s name is never mentioned in The President’s Gardens, even though he haunts every page. The one time that the reader encounters him directly, he is referred to simply by his title. In a novel of vivid pictures, the almost...

Read more...
Subscribe to fiction