tue 22/10/2019

book reviews and features

George Szirtes: The Photographer at Sixteen review – how grief becomes art

Boyd Tonkin

How long does it take for grief to crystallise into art? No timetable can ever set that date. The poet George Szirtes’s mother took her own life, after previous attempts, during the hot summer of...

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Sam Bourne: To Kill the Truth review - taut thriller of big ideas

Marina Vaizey

Great libraries burning, historians murdered: someone somewhere is removing the past by obliterating the ways...

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Richard J Evans: Eric Hobsbawm - A Life in History review - mesmerisingly readable

Marina Vaizey

This is an astonishing book: in its breadth, depth and detail and also in its almost palpable, and sometimes unpalatable, admiration of its...

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Tana French: The Wych Elm review - a lucky man and his downfall

Markie Robson-Scott

A Tana French crime novel is never just a thriller. Probably more acclaimed in the USA than the UK (she gets rave reviews in the New Yorker and the New York Times) French always...

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Jill Abramson: Merchants of Truth review - news in the age of digital disruption

Liz Thomson

It’s more than a little ironic when journalists who grew up in the upstart world of digital media, with all its mash-ups, plagiarism and (yes) theft, accuse a print journalist with a distinguished...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Robert MacFarlane's Spell Songs

Tim Cumming

With books including Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places, The Old Ways and Landmarks, Robert MacFarlane has established himself as one of the...

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Chloe Aridjis: Sea Monsters review - a teenage bestiary

Katherine Waters

We've all been there. The disappointing fling. The gently shattered illusions. The abortive holiday eliding languor and boredom. Teenage ennui. Revels peopled by runaways. Talking animals. Talking...

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Kristen Roupenian: You Know You Want This review - twisted tales

Marina Vaizey

A one-night stand between a female college student, Margot, whose part-time job is selling snacks at the cinema, and thirtyish Robert, a customer, goes pathetically awry. It was disappointing,...

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Michael Peppiatt: The Existential Englishman review - we'll always have Paris

Marina Vaizey

In this memoir, subtitled “Paris Among the Artists”, Michael Peppiatt presents his 1960s self as an absorbed,...

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Magda Szabó: Katalin Street review - love after life

Katherine Waters

This is a love story and a ghost story. The year is 1934 and the Held family have moved from the countryside to an elegant house on...

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