thu 16/09/2021

book reviews and features

Claire-Louise Bennett: Checkout 19 review - coming to life

Daniel Lewis

Like any good writer, Claire-Louise Bennett loves lists. Lists are, after all, those moments when words, freed from grammar’s grip, can simply be themselves – do their own thing, show off,...

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Christopher Clark: Prisoners of Time review - from Kaiser Bill to Dominic Cummings

Boyd Tonkin

Historians seldom make the news themselves. However, Christopher Clark – the Australian-born Regius Professor of History at Cambridge University – hogged headlines and filled op-ed pages in...

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Thora Hjörleifsdóttir: Magma review - love burns in debut novel from Iceland

India Lewis

Thora Hjörleifsdóttir’s Magma is certainly not an easy read. It describes, in short chapters...

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10 Questions for novelist Mieko Kawakami

Izzy Smith

Mieko Kawakami sits firmly amongst the Japanese literati for her sharp and pensive depictions of life in...

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Samantha Walton: Everybody Needs Beauty review - the well of the world

Nell Whittaker

In the opening poem of Samantha Walton's 2018 collection, Self Heal, the speaker is on the tube, that evergreen metaphor of capital's specific barrelling momentum. The tube "will...

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Test Signal: Northern Anthology of New Writing review – core writing from England's regions

Daniel Baksi

“On the Ordinance Survey map, it has no name”, writes Andrew Michael Hurley, of the wood that nevertheless gives its name to his essay. “Clavicle Wood” provides the first chapter in the ...

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Adam Mars-Jones: Batlava Lake review - pride and prejudice in the Kosovo War

Zehra Kazmi

For a slim book of some 100 pages, Batlava Lake by Adam Mars-Jones is deceptively meandering. The novella is narrated by Barry Ashton, an engineer attached to the British Army troops...

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Danielle Evans: The Office of Historical Corrections review - what happens when history comes knocking

Daniel Lewis

There’s something refreshing about fiction you can easily trace back to the question what if...

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Anna Neima: The Utopians review – after horror, six quests for the good life

Boyd Tonkin

Not long after the Nazis came to power, Eberhard Arnold sent a manifesto to Adolf Hitler. The Protestant preacher urged the dictator to “embrace universal love”. With his wife Emmy, Eberhard had...

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Victoria Mas: The Mad Women's Ball review - compelling plot meets disquieting history

Gaby Frost

To this day, if you take a stroll down Paris’ Boulevard de l’Hôpital, you’ll come across an imposing building: the...

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Is God Is, Royal Court review – blister, flare and burn, bab...

God is a tricky one. Or should that be One? And definitely not a He. So when she says take revenge, then vengeance is definitely not only hers,...

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain review - visually arrestin...

On its surface, a biopic of a late-Victorian artist starring big...

Our Future in Your Hands, Peckham School Choirs, Multi-Story...

What a way for the Multi-Story Orchestra, conductor Christopher Stark and composer Kate Whitley to celebrate 10 years of pioneering activity in...

Album: The Eivind Aarset 4-Tet - Phantasmagoria, or A Differ...

Phantasmagoria, or A Different Kind of Journey instantly sets its controls for an excursion into the interstellar void between gaseous...

Michael Janisch Band, Ronnie Scott's review - jazz...

This was, said bassist Michael Janisch, his first gig since January last year, and his crack group’s Monday evening set, kicking off at the un-...

Indecent, Menier Chocolate Factory review - cabaret-style de...

Indecent is a play wrapped inside a news story about...

Album: The Felice Brothers - From Dreams To Dust

There’s a modesty to the Felice Brothers, an absenting of ego, even...

Rigoletto, Royal Opera review - routine clouds the best in t...

Another season, another new production of Verdi’s nastiest...

The Lost Leonardo review - an incredible tale as gripping as...

It’s been described as “the most improbable story that has ever happened in the art market”, and The Lost Leonardo reveals every twist...

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