tue 22/10/2019

book reviews and features

Michael Caine: Blowing the Bloody Doors Off review - an actor's handbook, annotated by experience

Marina Vaizey

What a charmer! An irresistible combination of diffidence and confidence, Michael Caine is so much more than Alfie...

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Julian Baggini: How the World Thinks review - a whirlwind tour of ideas

Marina Vaizey

The intrepid philosopher Julian Baggini has travelled the world, going to academic conferences, interviewing scores of practicing philosophers from academics to gurus, trying to figure out and pin...

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Barbara Kingsolver: Unsheltered review - too many issues

Markie Robson-Scott

“When men fear the loss of what they know, they will follow any tyrant who promises to restore the old order.” Mary Treat, the real-life 19th-century botanist who is one of the characters in...

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Simon Sebag Montefiore: Written in History review - epistolary high points

Marina Vaizey

Humdinger! This is a totally brilliant idea for an amazing anthology, although the subtitle “Letters that Changed...

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Neil MacGregor: Living with the Gods review - focuses of belief

Marina Vaizey

Dip in, dip out, argue, agree and disagree: Living with the Gods is the newest manifestation of a rich multimedia format that keeps on giving, devised by that superb writer and lecturer,...

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Lavinia Greenlaw: In the City of Love’s Sleep review - curated lives

Katherine Waters


Iris is a museum conservator with a pair of pre-adolescent daughters and a failing marriage. Raif...

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Olga Tokarczuk: Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead review - on vengeful nature

Katherine Waters

In a small town on the Polish-Czech border where the mobile signal wanders between countries’ operators and only three inhabitants stick it out through the winter, animals are wreaking a terrible...

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Michael Hughes: Country review - epic troubles

Matthew Wright

Michael Hughes’ second novel, superimposing the post-96 Troubles on the story of The Iliad, rides a wave of Homeric re-tellings, with Pat Barker and Colm Tóibín having recently...

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Yuval Noah Harari: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century review - a sceptic's optimism?

Marina Vaizey

The bestseller Sapiens (2011, first published in English in 2014) by the hitherto little-known Israeli academic Yuval Noah Harari has sold enormously well, and justly so: recommended by...

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P.E.Caquet: The Bell of Treason review - the sacrifice of Czechoslovakia

Jasper Rees

It was 80 years ago next month that Neville Chamberlain returned with the good news of peace in our time...

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