John Burnside

Credit: Getty

A picture of rural Kentucky: Stand by Me, by Wendell Berry, reviewed

3 August 2019 9:00 am

Anyone picking up a book by Wendell Berry, whether it be fiction, essays or a collection of his lucid and…

Washed-up in LA: This Storm, by James Ellroy, reviewed

8 June 2019 9:00 am

When James Ellroy’s L.A. Confidential appeared in 1990, it introduced us to a world of blatant corruption, casual racism and…

Marlon James

Tolkien in Africa: Black Leopard Red Wolf, by Marlon James, reviewed

23 February 2019 9:00 am

Anyone who has issues with Tolkien (at 16, even in a suitably ‘altered state’, I could not finish The Hobbit,…

Denis Johnson: where pain and comedy collide

3 February 2018 9:00 am

The death of Denis Johnson last May marked the loss of a great original who catalogued the lives of junkies,…

George (left) and Willie Muse were exhibited for decades as fairground freaks — billed as ‘sheep-headed cannibals from Ecuador’ or ‘ambassadors from Mars’

The saddest show on earth

1 April 2017 9:00 am

It’s the early 20th century, and two strange-looking boys, purportedly twins named Iko and Eko, are playing in a circus…

Thirtysomething blues

11 February 2017 9:00 am

If ever there was a book for our uncaring, unsharing times, it is Gwendoline Riley’s First Love, in which Neve,…

Thirtysomething blues

9 February 2017 3:00 pm

If ever there was a book for our uncaring, unsharing times, it is Gwendoline Riley’s First Love, in which Neve,…

A matter of life and death

22 October 2016 9:00 am

Shades of The Master and Margarita haunt Rabih Alameddine’s sixth book, in which Jacob, a Yemeni-born poet with a day…