Houman Barekat

Adam Mars-Jones’s protagonist has disarmingly low self-esteem: Box Hill reviewed

14 March 2020 9:00 am

Short, fat and shy, the protagonist of Adam Mars-Jones’s latest novel doesn’t have much going for him; even his name…

Bawdy, it’s not — Strange Antics: A cultural history of seduction

1 February 2020 9:00 am

Anyone reading Clement Knox’s history of seduction for salacious entertainment is likely to be disappointed: it contains no mention of…

Dave Eggers’s satire on Trump is somewhat heavy-handed: The Captain and the Glory reviewed

14 December 2019 9:00 am

A feckless moron is appointed to the captaincy of a ship, despite having no nautical experience. The Captain has a…

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Make it a new year’s resolution to be less active

12 January 2019 9:00 am

As a boy Josh Cohen was passive, dopey and given to daydreaming. Now a practising psychoanalyst and a professor of…

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Insomnia is key to my creativity

3 November 2018 9:00 am

A genre of memoir currently in vogue involves entwining the author’s personal story with the cultural history of a given…

Rock and Roll is Life: The True Story of the Helium Kids by One Who Was There: A Novel, by D.J. Taylor, reviewed

16 June 2018 9:00 am

The narrator-protagonist of D.J. Taylor’s new novel, a mild-mannered Oxford graduate named Nick Du Pont, has resisted the lure of…

The more outrageous sf fantasies give way to soft dystopias

17 February 2018 9:00 am

Science fiction, as any enthusiast will tell you, is not just about gazing into the future but also about illuminating…

Crime and puzzlement in Tony White’s Oulipo-inspired novel

3 February 2018 9:00 am

Tony White’s latest novel begins for all the world like a police procedural, following the delightfully named sleuth Rex King…

Folk-tale redux

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Daniel and his big sister, Cathy, do not go to school. They live with their father, a gargantuan former prizefighter,…

Encounters with the nastiest people on the internet

6 June 2015 9:00 am

It is almost a century since the Michelin brothers had the brainwave of supplementing their motorists’ guide with information about…

Carol White in Jeremy Sandford’s BBC play Cathy Come Home. Watched by 12 million, the drama’s hard-hitting depiction of homelessness and unemployment made a huge impact on its shocked audience in 1966

From Anthony Trollope to Meryl Streep: the theatre of politics on stage and screen

31 May 2014 9:00 am

On 1 October 1950 the BBC broadcast a seemingly innocuous little play by Val Gielgud. A light-hearted and critically unremarkable…