thu 09/12/2021

book reviews and features

Jonathan Calvert and George Arbuthnott: Failures of State review - a devastating exposé, slightly mistimed

Sarah Collins

Almost a year ago, in the midst of the first national lockdown, The Sunday Times broke the news that Boris Johnson had failed to attend five consecutive Cobra meetings in the lead up to...

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Polly Barton: Fifty Sounds review - what is lost in translation

India Lewis

Fifty Sounds is translator Polly Barton’s first novel, conceived as part of Fitzcarraldo’s annual...

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Andrea Bajani: If You Kept a Record of Sins review - where blame, grief and discovery meet

Jessica Payn

“I think it happened to you, too, the first time you arrived.” So begins Andrea Bajani’s second novel (...

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Will Page: Tarzan Economics - a 'rockonomist' writes

Sebastian Scotney

The idea behind Tarzan Economics is, in its essence, that “if the vine we are holding onto is withering, we can have confidence to reach out for a new one.” This thesis expounded in Will...

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Extract: TV by Susan Bordo

theartsdesk

"Television and I grew up together." As a baby boomer born in 1947, Susan Bordo is roughly the same age as our beloved gogglebox, which began life as a broad box with a ten-inch screen, chunky and...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Author Sam Mills on the phenomenon of the 'chauvo-feminist'

CP Hunter

Sam Mills’s writing includes the wondrously weird novel The Quiddity of Will Self, the semi-memoir Fragments of My Father, and Chauvo-Feminism (The Indigo Press), which...

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Charles Saumarez Smith: The Art Museum In Modern Times review – the story of modern architecture

Daniel Baksi

“This book is a journey of historical discovery, set out sequentially in order to convey a sense of what has changed over time.” Add to this sentence, the title of the work from which it is taken...

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Craig Taylor: New Yorkers - A City and Its People in Our Time review

Liz Thomson

For the last couple of years, until we were so rudely interrupted, I’d been spending chunks of the year in New York, a city I’ve come to know...

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Prix Pictet: Confinement review - a year in photographs

Florence Hallett

Sustainability and the environment are watchwords for the Prix Pictet, the international...

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Alan Warner: Kitchenly 434 review – dreams and delusions in the backwaters of fame

Boyd Tonkin

“They think it’s all drugs and sex up here, Mrs H.” “Bless me.” The reality, at Kitchenly Mill Race, runs more to a nice pot of Tetley’s and a plate of Gypsy Creams. But “people are funny around...

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latest in today

Album: Hiss Golden Messenger - O Come All Ye Faithful

Irrespective of its seasonal nature, the thread running throughout O Come All Ye Faithful is a mood of contemplation which could colour...

Madness and Squeeze, Brighton Centre review - enjoyable annu...

Madness frontman Suggs is asking the capacity crowd at the Brighton Centre if any of them are in school-age education. Quite a few are. There are...

Landscapers, Sky Atlantic review - Olivia Colman and David T...

In 2014, Susan and Christopher Edwards were jailed for a minimum of 25 years for the...

Album: Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Barn

Neil Young’s ornery spontaneity has resulted in a remarkable number of mediocre songs. His sketchy 21st century has conjured audacious...

You Don't Know Me, BBC One review - true love meets inn...

I sympathised with the prosecuting barrister when she put it to the...

Semenchuk, Skigin, Wigmore Hall review - compelling Tchaikov...

This winter's evening spent at Wigmore Hall, completely immersed in performances of songs by Tchaikovsky, was a delight.

Mezzo-soprano...

Shagged. Married. Annoyed. Live, O2 Arena review - popular p...

The lengthy ovation Chris and Rosie Ramsey received when they walked on stage at the...

Album: Various Artists - A Damaged Christmas Gift For You

Christmas albums can traditionally be slippery beasts with a whole host of quality control issues. This is not unlike the compilation albums that...

MacMillan Christmas Oratorio, LPO, Elder, RFH review – a new...

The shadow of the cross falls over James MacMillan’s manger. You may come for his work’s consoling, even transporting, beauty and mystery. It’s...

Measure for Measure, Sam Wanamaker Theatre review - this pro...

Measure for Measure may be the quintessential Shakespeare “problem” play, but just what has earned it that epithet remains a puzzle. Each...

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