Books

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…

Murder in Richmond Park: House with No Doors, by Jeff Noon, reviewed

9 January 2021 9:00 am

It’s 1981 in Richmond, south-west London. Detective Inspector Henry Hobbes is called out to a rundown house where the octogenarian…

George Pell: Behind Bars

19 December 2020 9:00 am

This is the prison diary that should never have been written because Cardinal George Pell should never have been in…

Summer books

19 December 2020 9:00 am

Bad year, good books

A conciliatory P.J. O’Rourke is not the satirist we know and love

19 December 2020 9:00 am

There was an acidic bravura and beauty in P.J. O’Rourke’s early journalism and a gleefulness in the ease with which…

Spot the literary character

19 December 2020 9:00 am

For answers, visit spectator.com.au/2020/12/answers-to-spot-the-literary-character. Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Will we soon see the end of conservatism as we know it?

19 December 2020 9:00 am

The future of conservatism depends crucially on its ability to withstand the new hard right, says William Hague

The only man who didn’t want to be Cary Grant was Cary Grant himself

19 December 2020 9:00 am

Cary Grant was a hoax so sublime his creator struggled to escape him. He was a metaphor, too, for the…

The End of Times and the coming of the Antichrist

19 December 2020 9:00 am

Two things it may be wise to know before picking up this relatively short and surprisingly cheerful brand spanking NEW…

Mozart the infant prodigy was also a child of the Enlightenment

19 December 2020 9:00 am

‘My dear young man: don’t take it too hard,’ Joseph II counsels a puppyish Mozart, the colour of his hair…

Barbara Amiel is a cross between Medusa and Maria Callas

19 December 2020 9:00 am

If this book becomes a Netflix blockbuster, as it surely must, Barbara Amiel presents us with an opening image. She…

How we laughed: the golden days of Bananarama

19 December 2020 9:00 am

Saying you don’t like Bananarama is like saying you don’t like summer or Marilyn Monroe — a sure sign of…

Labyrinthine tales: We All Hear Stories in the Dark, by Robert Shearman, reviewed

19 December 2020 9:00 am

When the estimable Andy Miller, the host of the Backlisted podcast, recommended a new collection of short stories on Twitter,…

Christiaan Huygens – hero of time and space

19 December 2020 9:00 am

This book, soaked like the Dutch Republic itself ‘in ink and paint’, is enchanting to the point of escapism. The…

The map as a work of art

19 December 2020 9:00 am

’Tis the season of complacency, when we sit in warmth and shiver vicariously with Mary and Joseph out in the…

The Enlightenment was a many-splendoured thing

19 December 2020 9:00 am

History used to be so much easier. There were the Wars of the Roses, then the Reformation, the Civil War,…

All change: The Arrest, by Jonathan Lethem, reviewed

19 December 2020 9:00 am

This is an Exquisite Corpse of a novel — or if you prefer another name for that particular game, Heads,…

What is so special about heavy metal?

19 December 2020 9:00 am

Ever since my early youth I have loved, followed and respected a certain music genre that some people consider strange,…

Office boy

12 December 2020 9:00 am

For most of us, going to work means going to an office, to sit at a desk and perform bureaucratic…

The brutality of the Gulag was totally dehumanising

12 December 2020 9:00 am

‘It was a gray mass of people in rags, lying motionless with bloodless, pale faces, cropped hair, with a shifty,…

Unpleasant smells can actually enhance pleasure

12 December 2020 9:00 am

Harold McGee’s Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World’s Smells is an ambitious and enormous work. Indeed it’s so…

Joseph Ratzinger’s coat of many colours

12 December 2020 9:00 am

A common but flawed assumption about Joseph Ratzinger is that he is simply an ardent conservative. That’s the figure we…