Adam Begley

In the grip of apocalypse angst

6 April 2024 9:00 am

Dorian Lynskey lays out the many ways in which we have imagined the world ending – through pandemic, nuclear holocaust, climate change, asteroid impact or, most unnervingly, AI

Fast and furious: America Fantastica, by Tim O’Brien, reviewed

9 December 2023 9:00 am

As the avalanche of lies issuing from the White House morphs into the pandemic, Covid becomes in an engine of justice in this rollicking satire on Trumpworld

Why did Truman Capote betray his ‘swans’ so cruelly?

15 July 2023 9:00 am

In an effort to arrest his slide into middle-aged bloat, he attempted a ‘Proustian’ novel, but spilling the secrets of the women he claimed to love was social suicide

A doomed affair: Kairos, by Jenny Erpenbeck, reviewed

24 June 2023 9:00 am

A young woman and an older, married man fall passionately in love in the last days of the GDR – but abuse and jealousy soon turn things sour

Man on the run: Sugar Street, by Jonathan Dee, reviewed

14 January 2023 9:00 am

How long can a fugitive avoid detection after holing up in a city ‘big enough to be anonymous in’?

An avian allegory: Dinosaurs, by Lydia Millet, reviewed

15 October 2022 9:00 am

Adapt or die. That brutal Darwinian dictum is too blunt to serve as the motto of Dinosaurs, Lydia Millet’s slim,…

The effortless magnetism of Marcel Duchamp

30 April 2022 9:00 am

One could compile a fat anthology of tributes to Marcel Duchamp’s charm – especially what one friend called the artist’s…

God is everywhere, sometimes in strange guises, in Jonathan Franzen’s Crossroads

23 October 2021 9:00 am

Twenty years ago The Corrections alerted a troubled world to the talents of Jonathan Franzen. Though cruel and funny and…

New Yorkers talk the talk

15 May 2021 9:00 am

New York in a nutshell? No way. New York in a New York minute? Forget about it. The city contains…

Who killed Jane Britton in 1969?

5 December 2020 9:00 am

The problem with telling stories about Harvard is that Harvard, if it teaches anything these days, teaches distrust of stories.…

Cheering for Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool FC’s manager can do no wrong

21 November 2020 9:00 am

As his biographer, I feel obliged to quote John Updike’s wise sayings — among them the first rule in his…

Cyber apocalypse: The Silence, by Don DeLillo, reviewed

24 October 2020 9:00 am

Elaborated over a writing career that spans half a century — a career crowned with every honour save the Nobel…

French lessons, with tears: inside a Lyonnais kitchen

26 September 2020 9:00 am

You can’t say he didn’t warn us. In the final sentence of his previous book, Heat, a joyously gluttonous exploration…

The blistering experience of writing about Samuel Beckett

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

For those of us with nagging doubts about the value of literary biography, books that show the biographer at work…

Three dashing Frenchmen captivate Victorian London

2 November 2019 9:00 am

Do not google Samuel Jean Pozzi. If you want to enjoy Julian Barnes’s The Man in the Red Coat —…

The earliest aerial drawing, made from a balloon basket, by Thomas Baldwin, 1785, left, and Apollo 8’s ‘Earthrise’, right, 50 years old

How the world was turned upside down by revelation of aerial perspectives

16 June 2018 9:00 am

‘To look at ourselves from afar,’ Julian Barnes wrote in Levels of Life, ‘to make the subjective suddenly objective: this…