Lead book review

A sunken wreck of a novel: Cormac McCarthy’s The Passenger reviewed

19 November 2022 9:00 am

A great talent is wasted in Cormac McCarthy’s meandering tale of a mysterious plane crash and its aftermath, says Philip Hensher

Books of the year II – chosen by our regular reviewers

12 November 2022 9:00 am

A further selection of recent books enjoyed by our regular reviewers – and a few that have disappointed them

Books of the Year I — chosen by our regular reviewers

5 November 2022 9:00 am

Our regular reviewers choose the books they have most enjoyed reading in 2022

Who needed who most? The complex bond between Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby

29 October 2022 9:00 am

Claudia FitzHerbert explores the complex bond between two remarkable writers in the interwar years

We love you, Uncle Xi!

22 October 2022 9:00 am

Tom Miller on the cult of personality that China’s ‘core leader’ has so ruthlessly constructed

A complex, driven, unhappy man: the truth about John le Carré

15 October 2022 9:00 am

Adam Sisman on the private life of John le Carré, revealed in letters and a kiss-and-tell

The lonely passions of Emily Hale and Mary Trevelyan

8 October 2022 9:00 am

Tom Williams describes how two women’s hopes of marrying T.S. Eliot came to nothing

The unpleasant truth about Joseph Roth

1 October 2022 9:00 am

The Radetzky March must be one of the dozen greatest European novels – but its author was frighteningly unpleasant, says Philip Hensher

Vaughan Williams’s genius is now beyond dispute

24 September 2022 9:00 am

Ralph Vaughan Williams’s towering position in our national life is now beyond dispute – and can only grow, says Simon Heffer

The sheer tedium of life at Colditz

17 September 2022 9:00 am

Given the prisoners’ histories, it’s not surprising there were so many attempted breakouts from Colditz, says Clare Mulley

Ian McEwan’s capacity for reinvention is astonishing

10 September 2022 9:00 am

Ian McEwan’s latest novel is unusually long and autobiographical. It’s surprising in other ways, too, says Claire Lowdon

An old Encyclopaedia Britannica is a work to cherish

3 September 2022 9:00 am

The encyclopaedias of the past were volumes to be savoured – even if they often contained unsavoury views, says Rose George

How the quarrelsome ‘Jena set’ paved the way for Hitler

27 August 2022 9:00 am

Frances Wilson describes a group of self-obsessed intellectuals united by mutual loathing in a small university town in the 1790s

Nothing is certain in Russia, where the past is constantly rewritten

20 August 2022 9:00 am

Nothing is certain in a country where the past is constantly rewritten, says Owen Matthews

Our long, vulnerable childhoods may be the key to our success

13 August 2022 9:00 am

Could our long journey to adulthood actually be the key to our success, wonders Sam Leith

The Nazi influence in Egypt

6 August 2022 9:00 am

Justin Marozzi finds Egypt teeming with Germans after the second world war

Lord Northcliffe’s war of words

30 July 2022 9:00 am

Andrew Lycett on the pugnacious British press baron dedicated to fighting the first world war through newsprint

The impossibility of separating Scotland from Britain

23 July 2022 9:00 am

A ‘global’ history of Scotland must, by its very nature, be one of Britain and Empire too, says Alex Massie

What is the metaverse, actually?

16 July 2022 9:00 am

Big tech might tell us it’s what’s coming next but as yet there’s no real use for it, says James Ball

‘Jerusalem’ is a rousing anthem – but who knows what the words mean?

9 July 2022 9:00 am

‘Jerusalem’ may be our unofficial national anthem, but don’t ask anyone who sings it to tell you what it means, says Philip Hensher

Is Gone with the Wind to blame for Trumpism?

2 July 2022 9:00 am

Selfish, acquisitive, ignorant and vain, Gone with the Wind’s heroine not only resembles Donald Trump – she may even be his role model, says Greg Garrett

Fish that swim backwards – and other natural wonders

25 June 2022 9:00 am

With the technologies at our disposal, we can in fact now know what it’s like to be a bat, says Caspar Henderson

Was Jane Morris a sphinx without a secret?

18 June 2022 9:00 am

Jane Morris, the Pre-Raphaelites’ favourite model, remains as enigmatic as ever, says Frances Wilson

A glimmer of hope for the blue planet

11 June 2022 9:00 am

David Profumo wonders whether newly created marine reserves can really reverse decades of devastation

Is T.S. Eliot’s great aura fading?

4 June 2022 9:00 am

Cracks are beginning to appear in T.S. Eliot’s once unassailable reputation, says Philip Hensher