tue 05/07/2022

book reviews and features

Kylie Whitehead: Absorbed review - boundary-blurry, darkly funny debut

CP Hunter

Absorbed meets Allison at the end of her relationship with Owen. They are at a New Year's Eve party when she realises that their 10-year partnership has wound down. So far, so normal. But...

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Rosie Wilby: The Breakup Monologues review - do breakups make us stronger, better people?

Lydia Bunt

According to Rosie Wilby, “breaking up and staying together are simply two sides of the same coin. They are a flick of a switch apart, separated only by one fleeting moment of madness, or perhaps...

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Natasha Brown: Assembly review - turning personal crisis into perfect criticism

Daniel Lewis

School assembly: one of the many great traditions to be upended by the pandemic. According to this...

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Esther Freud: I Couldn't Love You More review - the alternative history of a pregnancy

Markie Robson-Scott

The glamorous unreliability of Esther Freud’s father, Lucian Freud, is an inescapable force in her...

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Music books to end lockdown: Sam Lee, Hawkwind, Dylan, Richard Thompson, and the Electric Muses

Tim Cumming

It won’t be long now before concert halls and back rooms, arts centres and festival grounds fill with people again, and...

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Sam Riviere: Dead Souls review – whip-smart literary satire with a techno tinge

Boyd Tonkin

In 1992 Martin Amis published a story, “Career Move”, in which the writers of sensational screenplays with titles like Decimator and Offensive from Qasar 13 read their work to...

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Lucy Caldwell: Intimacies review - exploring the empty spaces

Lydia Bunt

In the first short story of Lucy Caldwell’s collection Intimacies, “Like This”, one of the worst possible things that could ever happen to a parent occurs. On the spur of a stressful...

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Maylis de Kerangal: Painting Time review - safer in simulation

Charlie Stone

"Trompe-l’œil," explains the director of the Institut de Peinture in Brussels, “is the meeting of a painting and a gaze, conceived for a particular point of view, and defined by the effect it is...

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The Pursuit of Love, BBC One review - extravagantly entertaining

Matt Wolf

Nancy Mitford's 1945 literary sensation looks poised to be the TV talking point of the season, assuming the first episode of The Pursuit of Love sustains its utterly infectious...

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Sunjeev Sahota: China Room review - separate, related lives

India Lewis

China Room, Sunjeev Sahota’s third novel, is a familiar, ancestral tale: the...

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Jessie Burton: The House of Fortune review - a muted, sensit...

A sequel is always a hard thing to write, especially if the book that precedes it is a bestseller, adapted for television and read by more than a...

Album: Viagra Boys - Cave World

The third album from Stockholm rowdies Viagra Boys doesn’t muck about with what they do, but it’s more persistently punkin’ than their last. There...

Mick Jagger: My Life as a Rolling Stone review, BBC Two - th...

At the beginning of this film, Mick Jagger says: “What most...

Alcina, Glyndebourne review - Handel on the strand

Reviewing the Grange Festival production of Tamerlano the other day, I noted the difficulty...

Favour, Bush Theatre review - Ambreen Razia's punchy ne...

Where should Leila live — Ilford or Kent? It doesn’t sound like an earth-shattering decision for a 15-year-old to make, but the stakes...

Album: Laura Veirs - Found Light

The last minute of Found Light’s third track “Seaside Haiku” is defined by the repetition of a single phrase: “give but don’t give too...

Music Reissues Weekly: Ferkat Al Ard - Oghneya

Oghneya opens with the extraordinary “Matar Al Sabah.” Jazzy, with an overt Brazilian feel it gently swings and swoons....

The Making of Pinocchio, LIFT 2022, Battersea Arts Centre re...

Pinocchio is one of our most irreverent metamorphosis stories, and in this visually ingenious blend of...

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