Claire Lowdon

Less radical, less rich: Elizabeth Strout’s Olive, Again is a disappointment

16 November 2019 9:00 am

Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer-prize winning Olive Kitteridge (2008) is the novel I recommend to friends who don’t read much. Talk about…

Gen Xers v. Millennials: White, by Bret Easton Ellis, reviewed

1 June 2019 9:00 am

Q: What’s worse than listening to someone ranting hysterically about Donald Trump? A: Listening to Bret Easton Ellis ranting hysterically…

How to be good

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Suffering, wrote Auden, takes place ‘while someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along’. His…

Tim Parks’s one-sided ‘love story’ is a long trudge in the rain

13 February 2016 9:00 am

The title of Tim Parks’s 17th novel is false advertising, because Thomas and Mary: A Love Story is barely a…

The Butcher of Bosnia holes up in an Irish backwater

14 November 2015 9:00 am

The cover of Edna O’Brien’s 17th novel sports a handsome quote from Philip Roth: ‘The great Edna O’Brien has written…

If there’d been a Gilbert and Sullivan opera about Roland Barthes, it might have sounded like John Banville’s The Blue Guitar

12 September 2015 9:00 am

The Blue Guitar is John Banville’s 16th novel. Our narrator-protagonist is a painter called Oliver Orme. We are in Ireland,…

Fathers and sons — seen from multiple angles

30 May 2015 9:00 am

‘People talk about their childhood and it’s so mundane. I don’t remember much about it, if I’m honest. I can’t…