cruelty

Credit: Robin Hill

Gothic extremes of human cruelty: Cari Mora, by Thomas Harris, reviewed

18 May 2019 9:00 am

It has been 13 years since Thomas Harris published a novel, and the last time he published one without Hannibal…

The sinister bird occurs famously in Edgar Allan Poe’s poem ‘The Raven’

If you keep a pet raven, look out for your jewellery and car keys

24 March 2018 9:00 am

With bird books the more personal the better. Joe Shute was once a crime correspondent and is today a Telegraph…

Putting the boot into Italy

14 October 2017 9:00 am

A young woman, naked and covered in blood, totters numbly down a night road. A driver spots her in his…

The end of brotherly love

19 August 2017 9:00 am

You can never completely leave a religious cult, as this strange and touching memoir demonstrates. Patterns of thinking, turns of…

A 19th-century version of the Black Prince, by Benjamin Burnell

Black prince or white knight?

29 July 2017 9:00 am

We cannot know for sure how Edward the Black Prince earned his sobriquet. For some it was the volatile mixture…

The ruthless Romanovs’ horrible history

30 January 2016 9:00 am

‘It was hard to be a tsar,’ Simon Sebag Montefiore writes in his opening sentence, and what follows fully bears…

The question Christianity fails to answer: ‘Who is my neighbour?’

12 December 2015 9:00 am

‘Fine old Christmas,’ wrote George Eliot, ‘with the snowy hair and ruddy face, had done his duty that year in…

What makes mankind behave so atrociously? Ian Buruma and Joanna Bourke investigate

6 December 2014 9:00 am

The first interaction between two men recorded in the Bible involves a murder. In the earliest classic of English literature,…

A misery memoir from Alan Cumming that's surprisingly thoughtful

15 November 2014 9:00 am

Misery loves company. Anyone who doubts this old adage should pop into their local bookshop, because besides celebrity chefs and…

Lucian Freud in his bedroom in Notting Hill, May 2011

Breakfast with Lucian, by Geordie Greig - review

12 October 2013 9:00 am

According to the medical historian Professor Sonu Shamdasani, Sigmund Freud was not the best, nor actually the most interesting, psychoanalyst…

Reflections on a Metaphysical Flaneur, by Raymond Tallis - review

10 August 2013 9:00 am

There are books we read for pleasure and there are books we are paid to review. However enjoyable the books…