Nicholas Lezard

Jeffrey Bernard and Christopher Howse among drinkers at the Coach and Horses. Norman Balon presides. Credit: Rex Features

‘You don’t want to end up like us’: How I got out of Soho just in time

15 September 2018 9:00 am

On the one hand, I am supremely qualified to review this book. In 1984, bored beyond endurance after graduating with…

A man of many handles: Flann O’Brien in Dublin

A melancholy talent with a genius for send-up – Flann O’Brien was his own worst enemy

21 July 2018 9:00 am

It is tempting to compare two highly intelligent, learned and gifted young Dublin writers, suffering under the burdensome, Oedipal influence…

Don Quixote is often referred to as the ‘first’ novel, though Javier Cercas disagrees

From Don Quixote to My Struggle — a survey of the novel in 160 pages

23 June 2018 9:00 am

I wonder what your idea of a good novel is. Does it embody the attributes of solid plotting, characterisation and…

How one man took on the French betting system — and kept winning against the odds

14 April 2018 9:00 am

About a third of the way through this book I worked out that I had an unbeatable system for winning…

Coffee and khat vie for cultivation in Yemen

Risking all for the perfect mocha coffee

3 February 2018 9:00 am

‘This guy’s crazy,’ says a taxi driver, listening to a BBC interview with a man who has decided to become…

A bad taste in the mouth

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Here is the opening sentence of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s meditation on beds.: With its four legs and its flat, soft…

The very Czech (and very funny) brilliance of Bohumil Hrabal

12 March 2016 9:00 am

‘A crane fell on top of me in Kladno in 1952, after which my writing got better,’ Bohumil Hrabal (who…

The smoking diary of Gregor Hens

12 December 2015 9:00 am

The link between smoking and self-expression is long-established. The only thing worse than not being able to smoke, says Will…

A crime novel so incompetent it might have been written by a child

25 July 2015 9:00 am

First, a quote from the novel under review. The context: it is a flashback scene of the behaviour of a…

What Hanif Kureishi learned from being robbed by his accountant

6 December 2014 9:00 am

Have you ever met a sane accountant? I ask, because one of the more striking sentences in A Theft runs:…