Fiction

Zen tales and flights of fancy: Patient X reviewed

5 May 2018 9:00 am

The target audience for David Peace’s new novel appears almost defiantly niche. Certainly, any readers in the embarrassing position of…

Root and branch: Richard Powers is determined to save the world’s trees

5 May 2018 9:00 am

This is a novel about trees, written in the shape of a tree (eight introductory background chapters, called ‘Roots’; a…

A Book of Chocolate Saints: an Indian novel like no other

24 March 2018 9:00 am

The Indian poet Jeet Thayil’s first novel, Narcopolis, charted a two-decade-long descent into the underworlds of Mumbai and addiction. One…

The Adulterants: a caustic take on London’s brutal property market

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Often a blurb exaggerates, but rarely does it fundamentally misrepresent (unless it contains the words ‘In the tradition of…’). The…

The body count piles up in Mick Herron’s London Rules

24 February 2018 9:00 am

The well-written spy novel is not a hotly contested field. Le Carré, Fleming, Deighton, a few Greenes, and that’s largely…

The thrill of living dangerously inspires the latest first novels

13 January 2018 9:00 am

Here come three novels marketed as debuts but written by authors with some sort of previous, be it in short…

Peter Carey’s latest novel is a merciless excavation of Australian history

13 January 2018 9:00 am

More than 25 years ago, Peter Carey co-wrote one of the most audacious road movies ever made, Wim Wenders’s Until…

The short, reckless life of Andrea Dunbar

9 December 2017 9:00 am

In her debut novel, Adelle Stripe recounts the brief, defiant life of the playwright Andrea Dunbar. Dunbar was raised on…

Jesmyn Ward sees dead people

9 December 2017 9:00 am

The events of this book take place where the world of the living and the world of the dead rub…

Naples drowns in deluge and corruption

2 December 2017 9:00 am

There are nods to dark masters in Malacqua — undercurrents of Kafka, a drumbeat of Beckett — but Nicola Pugliese’s…

Sisters under the skin: Han Kang’s The White Book reviewed

2 December 2017 9:00 am

Before the narrator of The White Book is born, her mother has another child; two months premature, the baby dies…

Has Paul Theroux finally lost it?

2 December 2017 9:00 am

As I ploughed through this semi-autobiographical behemoth about an author and travel writer obsessed with his siblings and mother, I…

On the run with Martin Luther King’s assassin

2 December 2017 9:00 am

This newly translated novel by the Spanish writer Antonio Muñoz Molina is really two books, spliced together in alternating chapters.…

Ali Smith’s Winter is calm, cool and consoling

4 November 2017 9:00 am

In 1939, Barbara Hepworth gathered her children and her chisels and fled Hampstead for Cornwall. She expected war to challenge…

Aircraft carriers USS Midway and the USS Enterprise of the United States NavY, 1945 (Photo: Getty)

On the waterfront

14 October 2017 9:00 am

Much has been made of the American novelist Jennifer Egan’s mutation, in her latest novel, from purveyor of metafiction and…

Gleaming pictures of the past

14 October 2017 9:00 am

If you think you know what to expect from an Alan Hollinghurst novel, then when it comes to The Sparsholt…

Author Nathan Englander (Photo: Getty)

Highly charged territory

14 October 2017 9:00 am

I first heard of this tragicomic spy romp around Israel and Palestine when Julian Barnes sang its praises in the…

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…

Apostle of gloom

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Few people turn to Henning Mankell’s work in search of a good laugh. He’s best known as the author of…

Brotherly love

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Jane Harris’s novels often focus on the disenfranchised: a maid in The Observations, a woman reduced by spinsterhood in the…

Deep learning

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Given the brilliance of his career as a fiction-writer, it is easy to forget that J.M. Coetzee has a commensurate…

Harsh, but entertaining

23 September 2017 9:00 am

When millionaires become billionaires they become even greedier and more ruthless. At the highest level, Trumpian economics can be lethal.…

A game of cat-and-mouse

16 September 2017 9:00 am

All Involved, Ryan Gattis’s breakout novel about the LA riots of 1992, was an absolute blast. Ballsy, vivid and immersive,…

Madness in Manhattan

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Life has far more imagination than we do, says the epigraph from Truffaut that opens Salman Rushdie’s 12th novel —…

Looking back, losing bits

16 September 2017 9:00 am

As Roddy Doyle’s 12th novel begins, Victor Forde, a washed-up writer, has returned to the part of Dublin where he…