Book review – fiction

Kafka goes to Dubai

30 August 2014 9:00 am

‘X’ is in ‘the Situation’: Joseph O’Neill, author of the clever and superb Netherland, hereby lets us know that his…

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…

The Zone of Interest is grubby, creepy – and Martin Amis's best for 25 years

16 August 2014 9:00 am

‘Everybody could see that this man was not a “monster”, but it was difficult indeed not to suspect that he…

The hooligan and the psychopath

16 August 2014 9:00 am

A Season with Verona (2002), Tim Parks’s account of a year on tour with the Italian football club Hellas Verona’s…

Soviet greyness, literary mediocrity and hot dates

9 August 2014 9:00 am

Right at the outset of this autobiographical novel — in fact it reads more like a memoir — Ismail Kadare…

Like Birdsong – only cheerful

2 August 2014 9:00 am

It is difficult to know whether Clive Aslet intended a comparison between his debut novel, The Birdcage, set in Salonica…

Tip-toeing through Sri Lanka

26 July 2014 9:00 am

‘The first night I stayed in Kilinochchi, I was a little apprehensive,’ admits the usually cool-headed Vasantha, van-driver and narrator…

A coming of age novel? Or an age of coming novel?

5 July 2014 9:00 am

At a time when feminism is grimly engaged in disappearing up its own intersection (two transsexuals squabbling over a tampon…

The soundtracked novel that won’t sit still

5 July 2014 9:00 am

The Emperor Waltz is long enough at 600 pages to be divided, in the old-fashioned way, into nine ‘books’. Each…

Maigret's new clothes – this month's best new crime novel, published 1931

28 June 2014 9:00 am

The publisher has whipped up a tsunami of excitement around The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (translated from the…

You know something’s up when MI6 moves its head office to Croydon

21 June 2014 9:00 am

Alan Judd’s spy novels occupy a class of their own in the murky world of espionage fiction, partly because they…

Stephen King – return of the great storyteller

21 June 2014 8:00 am

Stephen King’s latest novel, Mr Mercedes, is dedicated to James M. Cain and described as ‘a riveting suspense thriller’ —…

The man who loathed emoticons - especially :)) as it reminded him of his double chin

21 June 2014 8:00 am

Paul O’Rourke, the narrator of Joshua Ferris’s third novel, is a dentist who spends his days staring into the murky…

Portrait of Jeanne Duval by Edouard Manet

The breasts that launched Les Fleurs du Mal

21 June 2014 8:00 am

This novel is based on the life of Charles Baudelaire and the relationship he enjoyed — or endured — with…

Those weren't the days

21 June 2014 8:00 am

If you wanted a brief epigraph for Linda Grant’s recent fiction, then five words from Dorothy Parker might well do…

Not quite romantic fiction, or literary fiction, or commercial fiction – but still quite good

14 June 2014 8:00 am

Elements of Raffaella Barker’s new novel, her eighth for adults, suggest commercial fiction: a narrative that oscillates between the aftermath…

The repression, anger and bloodshed of our own Game of Thrones

7 June 2014 9:00 am

When I took up archery it was a relatively niche sport. Then Game of Thrones came along, and everyone wanted…

The best new children's books

7 June 2014 9:00 am

A children’s author and illustrator, Jonathan Emmet, created a stir recently by saying that women are effectively gatekeepers of children’s…

If you prefer banal symbols freighted with meaning to plot, Nicola Barker is your woman

7 June 2014 9:00 am

Readers familiar with Nicola Barker’s hyper-caffeinated style will be surprised by the almost serene first few chapters of her latest…

How to survive the rain-sodden Welsh Marches

7 June 2014 9:00 am

The Welsh Marches, gloriously unvisited amid their wooded hills and swift-flowing streams, have remained mysteriously off-limits to the sort of…

A Colder War, by Charles Cumming - review

31 May 2014 9:00 am

The title of Charles Cumming’s seventh novel is both a nod to the comfortable polarities of Cold War and also…

A truth too tender for memoir

31 May 2014 9:00 am

It has been 14 years since Akhil Sharma published his first, widely acclaimed novel, An Obedient Father. Though its subject…

No one would want to live in Jane Gardam's stories – but they're an amazing place to visit

24 May 2014 9:00 am

In the world of Jane Gardam’s stories the past is always present, solid and often unwanted and always too big,…

Mid-life crisis, 13th-century style

10 May 2014 9:00 am

The word delicate is seldom a compliment.  I once threw a saucepan of hot soup out of a fifth storey…

An escape from New South Wales

26 April 2014 9:00 am

Thomas Keneally has constructed his latest novel around a framework of true events: the mass break-out of Japanese PoWs from…