fri 02/12/2022

book reviews and features

Anna Neima: The Utopians review – after horror, six quests for the good life

Boyd Tonkin

Not long after the Nazis came to power, Eberhard Arnold sent a manifesto to Adolf Hitler. The Protestant preacher urged the dictator to “embrace universal love”. With his wife Emmy, Eberhard had...

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Victoria Mas: The Mad Women's Ball review - compelling plot meets disquieting history

Gaby Frost

To this day, if you take a stroll down Paris’ Boulevard de l’Hôpital, you’ll come across an imposing building: the...

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Extract: David Lan's As If By Chance

David Lan

In June 2001 the London Festival of International Theatre brought Amir Nizar Zuabi’s Alive from ...

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Elinor Cleghorn: Unwell Women review – misunderstanding and misdiagnosis

Lydia Bunt

I’m one of the women in the pages of Elinor Cleghorn’s new history of the female body, Unwell Women: A Journey Through Medicine and Myth in a Man-Made World. I’ve dealt with strange...

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Ed Miliband: Go Big - How to Fix Our World review - reasons to hope

Liz Thomson

Almost alone among my friends, I liked and admired Ed Miliband, renewing my on-off relationship with the Labour...

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Nichola Raihani: The Social Instinct review - the habits of co-operation

Jon Turney

An army on the move must be as disturbing as it is, on occasion, inspiring. In E.L. Doctorow’s startlingly good civil war novel The March, General Sherman’s column proceeds inexorably...

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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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Tori and Lokita review - a masterpiece of humanist cinema

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes are Belgium’s national conscience. The brothers, who have been sharing the roles of writer-director-producer since...

The Kola Nut Does Not Speak English, Bush Studio review - an...

The Bush studio space is proving a fruitful launch pad, not just for...

Album: Olly Murs - Marry Me

Oh dear. 10 songs of very little consequence. And one which has sparked “controversy”. "I Hate You When You're...

Tokyo Vice, BBC One review - murder, extortion and corruptio...

There was originally a plan to make Tokyo Vice a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe, but it has ended up as a TV series starring Ansel...

Album: White Lung - Premonition

In 2016’s abrasive album opener, "Dead Weight", frontwoman Mish Barber-Way laments over multiple miscarriages as her biological clock ticks away...

Christian Gerhaher, Gerold Huber, Wigmore Hall review - mute...

There is no mistaking Christian Gerhaher. His voice is a light, agile baritone, and it is utterly distinctive. He is a very verbal singer, and is...

Neil Young: Harvest Time review - a thrillingly intimate fly...

“You’re filmin’ a movie or something – can you explain this?” the radio DJ turns to Neil Young, a laugh underpinning his question and setting the...

BBC National Chorus of Wales, BBC NOW, Jeannin, BBC Hoddinot...

There are conductors, and then again there are...

Album: Leftfield - This Is What We Do

This Is What We Do is only Leftfield’s fourth album in a career that has lasted almost 35 years (on and off). But if there is a...

Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Harry Baker, Noisenight 13, Jazz Cafe...

The elation in the queue was palpable as people stood laughing and chatting in the November cold waiting for the doors of the Jazz Café to open...

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