mon 05/12/2022

book reviews and features

Patti Smith: A Book of Days review - adding to Insta's debris

Hugh Barnes

On April Fool’s Day, in 1978, the godmother of American punk, Patti Smith, jumped offstage at the Rainbow Theatre in...

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Derek Owusu: Losing the Plot review - the finest perfume

Harriet Mercer

Derek Owusu’s debut That Reminds Me won the Desmond Elliot Prize in 2020. When asked what it was that she loved most about Owusu’s semi-autobiographical 117-page book, Preti Taneja, chair...

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Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of the Imagination, Science Museum review - travel to a galaxy not so far away

Jon Turney

Scenes that stay in the mind: Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator peeling back the skin on his forearm to reveal the gleaming machinery within; a beady-eyed, new-born Alien bursting from John...

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Annie Proulx: Fen, Bog & Swamp review - defending the wetlands' bounty

India Lewis

Annie Proulx’s Fen, Bog & Swamp sees the Pulitzer-winning novelist join a number of authors decrying the ecological devastation we’re wreaking on the planet. James Rebanks’ ...

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Cormac McCarthy: The Passenger review - abstruse, descriptive, digressive

India Lewis

Cormac McCarthy’s first books in over a decade are coming out this year, a month apart from one another. The Passenger tells the story of deep-sea diver Bobby Western, desperately in love...

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Mariana Enriquez: Our Share of Night review - delving into a violent, erotic world

India Lewis

Tense with horror and the sticky darkness of the Argentinian night, Mariana Enriquez’s writing is rich and occult. Her epic novel, Our Share of Night, vividly translated from the Spanish...

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William Boyd: The Romantic review - historical soap opera, anyone?

Hugh Barnes

Writing in the Edinburgh Review in 1814, Francis Jeffrey began his review of Wordsworth’s The Excursion with a provocative denunciation of romanticism: “This will never do,” he...

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Andrew Murray: Is Socialism Possible in Britain? review - what went wrong and why Corbynism failed

Hugh Barnes

The title of Andrew Murray’s new book poses a question that also vexed Friedrich Engels over 130 years ago. The German co-...

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Savala Nolan: Don't Let It Get You Down review - finding voice in the liminal

Hannah Hutching

Liminal: a word that conjures thresholds and between states. Caught between three languages – the adjective is a borrowing from the Latin that enters English by way of German – ...

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Yiyun Li: The Book of Goose - fame, reality and two teenage French girls

Markie Robson-Scott

The Book of Goose, Yiyun Li’s fifth novel, is the gripping story of two teenage French girls and their...

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latest in today

Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - a perfo...

This greatest of symphonies starts with what’s plausibly described as arrhythmia of the heart, so it shouldn’t have been surprising to find my own...

Blu-ray: The Cat and the Canary (1939) / The Ghost Breakers...

Paramount added a late “old dark house” mystery comedy to Hollywood’s annus mirabilis of 1939 by teaming Bob Hope with Paulette...

Album: We Were Promised Jetpacks - A Complete One-Eighty

We Were Promised Jetpacks is a band name that seems off the cuff at first glance. This could be said for the Scottish...

Three Minutes: A Lengthening review - superb portrait of a v...

We hear the projector whirr as the mute 16mm film flows through the sprockets and on to the screen. For three minutes and a little longer we watch...

Music Reissues Weekly: Trevor Beales - Fireside Stories

When Trevor Beales’s band Havana Lake released their only album in 1977, it was on a label which also issued records by The Ryman Country Band,...

Directors the Dardenne brothers: 'To be living means to...

Belgian brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne have made their home region of Liège the site of excruciating moral crises and crushing injustice....

Manchester Collective String Orchestra, RNCM, Manchester rev...

Manchester Collective’s string orchestra programme, opening last night at the Royal Northern College of Music and touring to the South Bank, Leeds...

Best of Enemies, Noel Coward Theatre review - opposites attr...

Opposition (and history) are the apparent mainstays of the ceaselessly busy...

Album: Camilla Pisani - Phant[as]

Want an antidote so forced seasonal cheer and the catchiness of Christmas pop? How about some almost entirely atonal...

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