fri 07/05/2021

book reviews and features

William Boyd: Trio review - private perils in 1968

Charlie Stone

William Boyd’s fiction is populated by all manner of artists. Writers, painters, photographers, musicians and...

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John Lanchester: Reality, and Other Stories review - campfire spooks for the digital age

Lydia Bunt

What do you do when your phone rings, but you know the person ringing isn’t alive? In many ways, the cleverly named Reality, and Other Stories is a collection of...

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Bob Woodward: Rage review - terror and tyranny in the White House

Liz Thomson

“Build the wall!” exhorted Trump, at rally after rally back in the days when we’d all acknowledged his moral repugnancy but still believed he could never attain the presidency. And Trump has...

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Ottessa Moshfegh: Death in Her Hands review - a case of murder mind

Olivia Fletcher

Death in Her Hands was a forgotten manuscript, the product of a series of daily automatic writing exercises...

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Sudhir Hazareesingh: Black Spartacus review – the life, and thought, of the first black super-hero

Boyd Tonkin

The former slave, and coachman on a sugar plantation, began one of his early public proclamations in a typically defiant vein: “I am Toussaint Louverture, you have perhaps heard my name.” At that...

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Ian Williams: Reproduction review - a dazzling kaleidoscope of life's tragicomedy

Daniel Lewis

Ian Williams’s writing is always in motion. For his 2012 poetry collection Personals, and since, he has...

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Emma Cline: Daddy review - scintillating short stories by the author of The Girls

Markie Robson-Scott

The Girls, Emma Cline’s acclaimed debut novel of 2016, was billed as a story based on the Manson murders. But in fact, like some of the stories in Daddy, her new short-story...

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Naomi Klein: On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal review - an unapologetic manifesto

James Dowsett

On Fire brings together a decade’s worth of dispatches from the frontline of the...

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James Rebanks: English Pastoral, An Inheritance review - a manifesto for a radical agricultural rethink

India Lewis

Coming from a family of farmers, with periods of time spent working on a farm in the past ten years, I found James Rebanks’ English Pastoral: An Inheritance to be a highly...

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William Feaver: The Lives of Lucian Freud: Fame 1968-2011 review - mesmerising, exhaustive and obsessively detailed

Marina Vaizey

This is a biography like no other, more or less dictated by...

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Christa Ludwig, 1928-2021: a selective tribute

I only saw Christa Ludwig twice live in concert, but those appearances epitomise her incredible dramatic and vocal rage as well as her peerless...

Points of Departure, Brighton Festival 2021 review - Ray Lee...

They stand in a row, nine of them, in a long, strange corridor between rows of stacked, palleted, planked wood and the red brick wall of an...

Album: Squid - Bright Green Field

It seems fitting that...

Rachel Whiteread: Internal Objects, Gagosian Gallery review...

Sheds have flourished in lockdown: they’ve always been...

Extract: Blackface by Ayanna Thompson

Nearly a year has passed since...

Album: Rag'n'Bone Man - Life by Misadventure

Rory Graham was always stoically familiar with life’s knocks. With a stage-name inspired by Galton and Simpson’s fatalistic...

Album: Van Morrison - Latest Record Project Volume 1

If you want to understand the psychic harm that prolonged ...

BBC Young Musician 2020 Finale, BBC Four review - poise vers...

“You have to be careful you’re not judging the piece,” cautioned a pearl-necklaced Nicholas Daniel, great oboist and winner of the 1980...

Blu-ray: Raw

Raw opens with a bang, a distant figure on a remote country road stepping out in front of a car, causing it to crash into a tree. What’s...

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