sun 26/09/2021

book reviews and features

Omar Robert Hamilton: The City Always Wins review - Egypt's revolution, up close and personal

Boyd Tonkin

A few days ago we learned that British taxpayers have unwittingly donated around £1m. in aid to the police and court systems of Egypt’s military dictatorship, via an opaque “Conflict, Stability...

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Fred Vargas: The Accordionist review - intriguing Gallic sleuthing yarn

Marina Vaizey

The two haunting series of crime ...

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James Hamilton: Gainsborough - A Portrait review - an artistic life told with verve and enthusiasm

Marina Vaizey

James Hamilton’s wholly absorbing biography is very different from the usual kind of...

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

Liz Thomson

The sixth in a series of crime...

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

Emma Dibdin

When I began writing my first novel four years ago, there were a few ideas that had coalesced in my mind. I...

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Teju Cole: Blind Spot review - haunting hybrid of words and images

Boyd Tonkin

As a photographer, Teju Cole has a penchant for the scuffed and distressed surfaces, materials and tools that form rectilinear patterns on construction sites. Opposite a shot of scaffolding,...

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

Lisa Jewell

I started writing my first novel in 1995. I was 27 and I’d just come out of a dark, dark marriage to a...

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h.Club 100 Awards: Publishing and Writing - it's not all about the mainstream

Liz Thomson

For more than three decades I reported on the publishing industry as a business journalist. The books, the deals, the authors and the publishers, plus the bookshops that sold then. When I started...

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

Jasper Rees

Peter Høeg is still overwhelmingly known for a novel published a quarter of a century ago. Miss Smilla’s...

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

Boyd Tonkin

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...

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Pages

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The Midsummer Marriage, LPO. Gardner, RFH review – Tippett’s...

British opera’s attempted answer to The Magic Flute, and its presentation as the opening gambit of Edward Gardner’s eminent position as...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentleman We...

Looking for answers to what qualifies an album for a makeover and its attendant return to record shop racks can cause heads to spin. Multiple...

The Last Five Years, Garrick Theatre review - bittersweet mu...

Much has happened in the five years since your reviewer braved the steep rake at The Other Palace and saw The Last Five Years...

Gagarine review - hazy cosmic jive in a Paris banlieue

This is the story of a boy and a building. Sixteen-year-old Youri (newcomer Alseni Bathily) lives, with his telescope, in Cité Gagarine, a vast...

Album: Black Dice - Mod Prog Sic

There’s a strand of music that a friend of mine once referred...

Nicola Benedetti, Barbican Hall review – from Bach to the Hi...

If a standard-sized recital hall can be a lonely place for a solo violinist, playing an auditorium of Barbican dimensions must feel like crossing...

Creature, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells revie...

If a new ballet can be doomed by the weight of expectation, then...

'Rest now, you God': remembering bass-baritone Nor...

Few singers really change your life. Norman Bailey did that for me [writes David Nice of theartsdesk]. The occasion wasn't my first experience of...

Barry Adamson: Up Above the City, Down Beneath the Stars rev...

For those not familiar with the murkier corners of British rock...