thu 25/07/2024

book reviews and features

The Best of AA Gill review - posthumous words collected

Katherine Waters

Word wizard. Grammar bully. Sentence shark. AA Gill didn’t play fair by syntax: he pounced on it, surprising it into splendid shapes. And who cared when he wooed readers with anarchy and aplomb?...

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Jonathan Coe: The Broken Mirror review - potent, crystalline, but rather small

Matthew Wright

Novelist Jonathan Coe has, for some time, been assuming the role of an Evelyn Waugh of the...

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Richard F Thomas: Why Dylan Matters review - tangled up in clues

Liz Thomson

A year ago, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, his work commended by the committee "...

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Han Kang: The White Book review - between what is, what was, what might have been

Katherine Waters

A woman gives birth alone two months early in a frost-bound village in the Korean countryside. In Poland, a solitary woman washes down white migraine pills and concludes she must write. The child...

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Oliver Sacks: The River of Consciousness review - a luminous final collection of essays

Marina Vaizey

Oliver Sacks was the neurologist – and historian of science, and naturalist – whose exceptionally elegant, clear and accessible prose has captivated that almost mythical creature, the general...

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Susie Boyt: Love & Fame review - as highly strung as a violin factory

Markie Robson-Scott

At first glance, Susie Boyt’s sixth novel seems in danger of echoing her...

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Marcel Proust: Letters to the Lady Upstairs - a very slim volume

Sebastian Scotney

Marcel Proust was a prolific letter-writer. He wrote tens of thousands of them, and at speed, as can be seen from the two facsimiles which are included with the text of Letters to the Lady...

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Philip Pullman: La Belle Sauvage review - not quite equal

Katherine Waters

La Belle Sauvage, the first instalment of Philip Pullman’s eagerly-awaited new trilogy The Book of Dust, opens in the Trout, a rambling Thames-side pub on the outskirts of Port...

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Peggy Seeger: First Time Ever - A Memoir, review - a remarkable life

Liz Thomson

Seeger. A name to strike sparks with almost anyone, whether or not they have an interest in folk music...

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Niall Ferguson: The Square and the Tower review - of groups and power

Marina Vaizey

The controversial historian Niall Ferguson is the author of some dozen books, including substantial...

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