wed 22/08/2018

book reviews and features

Roddy Doyle: Smile review - return of the repressed

Boyd Tonkin

Although he made his name with the generally upbeat grooves and licks of his Barrytown Trilogy, Roddy Doyle has often played Irish family and social life as a blues full of sorrow and regret. In...

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Claire Tomalin: A Life of My Own review - the biographer on herself

marina Vaizey

The title says it all, or at least quite a lot. Luminously intelligent, an exceptionally hard worker, bilingual in French, a gifted...

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Anne Applebaum: Red Famine review - hope around a heart of darkness

David Nice

Hands both sensitive and surgical are needed to guide a reader into the heart of the 20th century’s second biggest genocide and out again. Anne Applebaum is the right person for a...

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Adam Macqueen: The Lies of the Land review - light, but enlightening

Liz Thomson

We are now firmly in the post-truth era as defined by Oxford Dictionaries: "adjective - relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping...

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Robert Harris: Munich review - reselling Hitler

Jasper Rees

Robert Harris’s first book about Hitler told the story of the hoax diaries which seduced Rupert Murdoch and Hugh Trevor-Roper. After Selling Hitler (1986) came Fatherland (1992...

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John le Carré: A Legacy of Spies review - the master in twilight mood

marina Vaizey

Over his long career – 23 novels, memoirs, his painfully believable narratives adapted into extraordinary films (10 for the big screen) and for television – John le Carré has created a world that...

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Extract: Peter Brook - Tip of the Tongue: Reflections on Language and Meaning

Peter Brook

A long time ago when I was very young, a voice hidden deep within me whispered, "Don’t take anything for granted. Go and see for yourself." This little nagging murmur has led me to so...

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Sigrid Rausing: Mayhem review - you want it darker?

Sebastian Scotney

There is fictional Nordic noir. And then there is this, the real thing. Subject matter really couldn’t be much darker than that of Mayhem: A Memoir in which publisher,...

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Val McDermid: Insidious Intent review - dark and expert crime writing

marina Vaizey

Val McDermid has written close on 30 award-winning thrillers and suspense novels, in four series, since...

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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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