Satire

An Egyptian comedy of errors

16 January 2016 9:00 am

The Yacoubian Building, the first novel of the Egyptian writer Alaa Al Aswany, sold well over a million copies in…

‘Second Empire Renaissance’ (from Pillar to Post). ‘Its most notable feature was the mansard roof. However suitable this device may be on top of the Louvre, it altogether fails to produce an effect of inevitable rightness amid the less exalted surroundings of Victoria Station.’

Osbert Lancaster: a national treasure rediscovered

12 December 2015 9:00 am

True to his saw that ours is ‘a land of rugged individualists’, Osbert Lancaster, in his self-appointed role of popular…

Jonathan Coe’s raucous social satire smoulders with anger

14 November 2015 9:00 am

When Rachel, one of the unreliable narrators of Number 11, wants to ‘go back to the very beginning’, she starts…

A broad farce about banking’s dirty secrets in post-Celtic-Tiger Dublin

1 August 2015 9:00 am

It’s not Paul Murray’s settings or themes — decadent aristocrats, clerical sex abuse, the financial crisis — that mark him…

Welcome to the world of Big Byz

18 July 2015 9:00 am

The title of Victor Pelevin’s 2011 novel stands for ‘Special Newsreel/Universal Feature Film’. This product is made by the narrator,…

Seeds of a mystery in a great-aunt’s will

27 June 2015 9:00 am

There is something cruelly beautiful, delightfully frustrating and filthily gorgeous about a Scarlett Thomas novel. Two family trees open and…

Satire is dying because satirists are too successful

9 May 2015 9:00 am

I appeared on Radio 4 a couple of weeks ago to discuss the age-old question of whether political satire is…

Channel 4's The Coalition reviewed: heroically free of cynicism

28 March 2015 9:00 am

In a late schedule change, Channel 4’s Coalition was shifted from Thursday to Saturday to make room for Jeremy Paxman…

The Heckler: how funny really was Spitting Image?

21 February 2015 9:00 am

Hold the front page! Spitting Image is back! Well, sort of. A new six-part series, from (some of) the team…

The Associates at Sadler's Wells reviewed: another acutely inventive work from Crystal Pite

14 February 2015 9:00 am

The prodigious streetdancer Tommy Franzén pops up everywhere from family-friendly hip-hop shows by ZooNation, Boy Blue and Bounce to serious…

A brief, witty look at the coming of the e-book

29 November 2014 9:00 am

Paul Fournel is a novelist, former publisher and French cultural attaché in London, and the provisionally definitive secretary and president…

Six Bad Poets, by Christopher Reid - review

28 September 2013 9:00 am

Is poetry in good enough health to be made fun of in this way? The irony is that this long,…