Lee Langley

As intricate as an origami sculpture: The Lost Future of Pepperharrow reviewed

21 March 2020 9:00 am

Steampunk, a shapeshifting and unpredictable genre, has a way of subverting the past, mischievously disordering the universe with historical what-ifs.…

Is it a Rake’s or a Pilgrim’s Progress for Rob Doyle?

18 January 2020 9:00 am

‘To live and die without knowing the psychedelic experience,’ says the narrator of Threshold, ‘is comparable to never having encountered…

You’d never believe what goes on in the Sainsbury’s car park

11 January 2020 9:00 am

Psychogeography takes many forms: Sebaldian gravitas, Will Self’s provocative flash and dazzle and Iain Sinclair’s jeremiads for lost innocence. Gareth…

Feminism for the Fleabag generation: The Polyglot Lovers, by Lina Wolff, reviewed

18 May 2019 9:00 am

Everyone behaves badly in The Polyglot Lovers — no saving graces. It’s a complex, shifting structure of sex, self-hatred and…

A hero of the Franco era: Lord of All the Dead, by Javier Cercas, reviewed

11 May 2019 9:00 am

Who is a hero? Javier Cercas, in his 2001 novel Soldiers of Salamis, asked the question, searching for an anonymous…

Laila Lalami

A Mojave desert mystery: The Other Americans, by Laila Lalami, reviewed

23 March 2019 9:00 am

Late one night, on a dimly lit stretch of highway in a small town in the Californian Mojave desert, an…

Credit Getty Images

A darkly comic road trip: The Remainder, by Alia Trabucco Zerán, reviewed

10 November 2018 9:00 am

You could call The Remainder a literary kaleidoscope: look at it one way and you see how the past lays…

Secrets and lies: Berta Isla, by Javier Marías, reviewed

13 October 2018 9:00 am

A novel by Javier Marías, as his millions of readers know, is never what it purports to be. Spain’s most…

Shades of Rear Window: People in the Room, by Norah Lange, reviewed

4 August 2018 9:00 am

A girl at a window, hidden behind curtains, watches three women in a dimly lit drawing room in the house…

Portrait of an American childhood: A Long Island Story by Rick Gekoski reviewed

28 July 2018 9:00 am

Success as a rare books dealer, academic, publisher, broadcaster and author of several non-fiction books — at 70, Rick Gekoski…

A single mother hits rock bottom in Tokyo: Territory of Light reviewed

28 April 2018 9:00 am

Before her death two years ago, Yuko Tsushima was a powerful voice in Japanese literature; a strong candidate for the…

Naples drowns in deluge and corruption

2 December 2017 9:00 am

There are nods to dark masters in Malacqua — undercurrents of Kafka, a drumbeat of Beckett — but Nicola Pugliese’s…

Octopus beaks and snake soup

7 October 2017 9:00 am

Driving across Japan’s Shikuko island, the food and travel writer Michael Booth pulls into a filling station to find, alongside…

Chaos among the commodes in Nina Stibbe’s old folks’ home

28 May 2016 9:00 am

A card in a shop window — ‘non-unionised, auxiliary nurses sought… 35p per hour. Ideal for outgoing compassionate females’ —…

Losers in the game of life

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Mysteries abound here — enigmas of identity and betrayal, long-buried secret transactions leading to quests — for a lost child,…

Author Javier Marias (Photo: Getty)

Javier Marías's Thus Bad Begins: A touch of Vertigo in post-Franco Madrid

27 February 2016 9:00 am

The title comes from Hamlet but the spirit that hovers over the pages of Javier Marías’s new novel is —…

Jhumpa Lahiri's new tongue

20 February 2016 9:00 am

Imagine you’re an unknown young writer whose first collection of stories wins the Pulitzer prize. Your first novel is filmed,…

John Lennon’s desert island luxury

24 October 2015 9:00 am

Beatlebone is an account of a journey, a psychedelic odyssey, its protagonist — at times its narrator — John Lennon,…

Author Ken Kalfus (Photo: Getty)

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and other characters to make you cry with laughter

11 July 2015 9:00 am

Coup de Foudre has a line from Antony and Cleopatra as its epigraph: ‘Some innocents ’scape not the thunderbolt.’ In…

Social comedy Peruvian-style

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Mario Vargas Llosa likes to counterpoint his darker novels with rosier themes: after the savagery of The Green House came…

Women in the various hells of Algiers

29 November 2014 9:00 am

On the surface Harraga is the story of two ill-matched women colliding dramatically, with life-changing consequences. What emerges, in throwaway…

A novel that will make you want to call social services

23 August 2014 9:00 am

Nina Stibbe has a way with children. Her first book, a memoir, was a deceptively wide-eyed view of a literary…

A lost treasure of Japanese fiction – pocket-sized but world class

17 May 2014 9:00 am

Think haiku, netsuke, moss gardens… Small is beautiful. Japanese art, a scholar of the culture once commented, is great in…

Who’s raiding the fridge?

3 May 2014 9:00 am

There is a problem with describing what happens in Nagasaki: impossible to reveal much of the plot without flagging up…

A Mughal Disneyland and a ripping yarn

19 April 2014 9:00 am

Mysore, once the capital of a princely kingdom in South India, has lost its lustre. In Mahesh Rao’s darkly comic…