More from Books

Scenes from an open marriage: Luster, by Raven Leilani, reviewed

16 January 2021 9:00 am

One of Barack Obama’s favourite books of 2020, Raven Leilani’s debut comes acclaimed by a literary Who’s Who that includes…

Exotic and endangered: Madagascar in peril

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Madagascar. There are so many delightful incongruities about the island. Despite being off the coast of Africa, because of the…

The burden of guilt: The Living Sea of Waking Dreams, by Richard Flanagan, reviewed

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Thanks to the Booker Prize, Richard Flanagan is probably the only Tasmanian novelist British readers are likely to have heard…

House of horrors: Girl A, by Abigail Dean, reviewed

16 January 2021 9:00 am

If the last quarter of 2020 saw a glut of novels published, of which there were winners (Richard Osman) and…

The plight of the evacuee: Asylum Road, by Olivia Sudjic, reviewed

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Olivia Sudjic’s second novel, Asylum Road, is a smart and sensitively layered story that’s told through niggling memories, unspoken thoughts,…

Whitewashing Bismarck just won’t wash

16 January 2021 9:00 am

The reviewer’s first duty is to declare any skin he may have in the game, so here goes: I write…

‘Mother Volga’ has always been Russia’s lifeblood

16 January 2021 9:00 am

‘Without this river the Russians could not live,’ remarked Robert Bremner in his work, Excursions in the Interior of Russia.…

Paradise regained: how the world’s wastelands are regenerating

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Ignoring the padlocked gate, my six-year-old son Nicholas and I climbed through a break in the metal fence and pushed…

‘There were no rules then’: Dana Gillespie’s 1960s childhood

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Although I can understand why Dana Gillespie might choose to call her memoir after her most famous album, for the…

Born out of suffering: the inspiration of Dostoevsky’s great novels

16 January 2021 9:00 am

A death sentence, prison in Siberia, and chronic epilepsy. The death of his young children, a gambling addiction, and possible…

Murder most casual: why Patricia Highsmith’s thrillers are so chilling

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Patricia Highsmith’s life was filled with more eccentric, disturbing brilliance than most readers can normally handle; and so the chief…

Family secrets: Life Sentences, by Billy O’Callaghan, reviewed

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Despite innovative work by younger writers, there remains a prominent strain in Irish literature of what we might call the…

The problem with pills: The Octopus Man, by Jasper Gibson, reviewed

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Having a breakdown? Try this pill, or that — or these? Built on the 1950s myth of a chemical imbalance…

Dreading demobilisation: The Autumn of the Ace, by Louis de Bernières, reviewed

16 January 2021 9:00 am

The Autumn of the Ace begins in 1945, as the second world war ends, but both Louis de Bernières and…

Old men remember: reliving the horror of Tobruk

16 January 2021 9:00 am

‘Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,/ But he’ll remember, with advantages,/ What feats he did that day.’ Peter…

The criminal code of Rotwelsch deciphered

9 January 2021 9:00 am

When Martin Puchner was a child, tramps would turn up at his family home in Nuremberg to be fed by…

The aesthetic prejudice towards white classical statues

9 January 2021 9:00 am

In the 1930s curators at the British Museum, under orders from Lord Duveen, a generous donor, scoured and hacked at…

Paint in the bloodstream: The Death of Francis Bacon, by Max Porter, reviewed

9 January 2021 9:00 am

Francis Bacon once told the art critic Richard Cork: ‘I certainly hope I’ll go on till I drop dead.’ Max…

Latin America in crisis again

9 January 2021 9:00 am

It wasn’t so long ago that British readers, on hearing about the incompetence and corruption of Latin America’s political leaders,…

The roots of humanity remain obscure

9 January 2021 9:00 am

To comprehend ourselves and the future of humankind we have to understand where we came from. Unlike the approximately 350,000…

In search of Noëlle: Invisible Ink, by Patrick Modiano, reviewed

9 January 2021 9:00 am

At some point in his twilit, enigmatic novels of vanished lives and buried memories, Patrick Modiano likes to jolt his…

How Hitler’s great gamble nearly paid off

9 January 2021 9:00 am

Do we need another wrist-breaking book about Adolf Hitler, the Third Reich and the second world war? Since Ian Kershaw…

Is Indian cricket no longer cricket?

9 January 2021 9:00 am

There is nothing in world sport, ‘nothing in the history of the human race’, Ramachandra Guha modestly reckons, that can…

Does William Barents deserve to have a sea named after him?

9 January 2021 9:00 am

Narratives of frozen beards in polar hinterlands never lose their appeal. Most of the good stories have been told, but…

The farce of the Nobel Peace Prize

9 January 2021 9:00 am

Betraying the Nobel opens with a detonation from Michael Nobel, Alfred’s great-grandnephew. The vice-chairman and then chairman of the Nobel…