fri 07/05/2021

book reviews and features

Nick Hornby: Just Like You review - funny but inauthentic Brexit novel

Sarah Collins

Nick Hornby’s protagonists are worlds apart. Joseph is a Black 22-year-old with a “portfolio career", which includes shift work at a butcher’s and a leisure centre and the distant dream of...

Read more...

Susanna Clarke: Piranesi review - the mysteries of the House

Boyd Tonkin

The man called Piranesi lives in a House (he likes Capital Letters, and he tells the story). This House consists of an endless labyrinth, like “an infinite series of classical buildings knitted...

Read more...

Matthew Sperling: Viral review - whip-smart satire about the void at the heart of tech

Daniel Lewis

Strange, that novels like this, which seem to have their finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist, already...

Read more...

Naomi Booth: Exit Management review - unwrapping life's unpleasantness

Lydia Bunt

When you try to get rid of something, it comes back to bite you – so says Naomi Booth in her new novel Exit Management. It’s one of...

Read more...

Gabriel Pogrund & Patrick Maguire: Left Out review - story of Corbynism from 'Glastonbury to catastrophe'

James Dowsett

Readers of Left Out may be surprised to find out how much of party politics is conducted over WhatsApp. The Labour Party under Jeremy...

Read more...

Wayne Holloway-Smith: Love Minus Love review – powerfully excavating the tormented poet's psyche

Daniel Baksi

Roughly two years since ...

Read more...

Selva Almada: Dead Girls review – the stark proximity of women to violence

Katie Da Cunha Lewin

Selva Almada’s newly translated work has a stark title in both English and the original Spanish: Dead Girls, or Chicas Muertas. That apparent bluntness belies the hybrid...

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: author Katharina Volckmer

Charlie Stone

Katharina Volckmer’s début novel The Appointment follows one woman as she vents her frustrations, confusions and regrets to her doctor during a lengthy appointment in London. Ranging...

Read more...

A. Naji Bakti: Between Beirut and the Moon review - a seriously comical coming of age

Gaby Frost

What stands between Beirut and the moon? Between Lebanon’s capital and the limitless possibility beyond? It is a question as complex and immense as the nation itself. In the wake of the...

Read more...

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai: The Mountains Sing review - a lyrical account of Việt Nam’s brutal past

Lucy Popescu

“The challenges of the Vietnamese people throughout history are as tall as the tallest mountains. If you stand too close, you won’t be able to see their peaks. Once you step away from the currents...

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

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...

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters