edna o’brien

Country girl

October 23, 2019 7:35 pm

Girl by Edna O’Brien reviewed


If only Georges Simenon had been a bit more like Maigret

October 23, 2019 4:39 pm

The pipe-smoking detective’s creator was a sex addict who died rich and lonely in a vast Swiss château

A colonial adventure in Mohawk Valley

October 22, 2019 1:38 pm

Into the wild: A Slightly Foxed books essay

john le carré

Spy times

October 21, 2019 2:56 pm

Agent Running in the Field by John le Carré reviewed


Donald Trump and the art of the lawsuit

October 21, 2019 10:44 am

Plaintiff in Chief: a Portrait of Donald Trump in 3,500 Lawsuits by James D. Zirin reviewed

umberto eco

Eco and Narcissus

October 18, 2019 1:07 pm

On the Shoulders of Giants by Umberto Eco reviewed


The concluding volume of Charles Moore’s life of Margaret Thatcher is – as its predecessors are – a triumph

October 17, 2019 1:16 pm

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, Volume Three: Herself Alone by Charles Moore reviewed

rand paul

Rand Paul offers a thorough take down of today’s left

October 16, 2019 2:03 pm

The Case Against Socialism by Rand Paul reviewed

peter handke nobel

The Nobel Committee honors an apologist for genocide

October 15, 2019 1:19 pm

Peter Handke has compared Bosnian Serbs laying the siege on Sarajevo with Native Americans laying siege on a camp of white colonizers

harold bloom

Harold Bloom, the Falstaff of lit crit

October 15, 2019 12:12 pm

Bloom was a working-class Jew from the Bronx who, like Saul Bellow, had autodidactified himself to the gills despite being in the university


Race to the finish

October 14, 2019 11:39 am

Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race by Thomas Chatterton Williams reviewed

Frank Lloyd Wright

Building a legend

October 11, 2019 12:18 pm

Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright by Paul Hendrickson reviewed


Three remarkable sisters at the heart of 20th-century Chinese politics

October 10, 2019 12:14 pm

Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China by Jung Chang reviewed

patti smith

Patti Smith had a bad year in 2016

October 10, 2019 12:13 pm

Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith reviewed


Anyone interested in Gilgamesh will get something out of this ‘little essay’

October 10, 2019 9:56 am

Gilgamesh: The Life of a Poem by Michael Schmidt reviewed

david cameron

As Lyra grows up, Philip Pullman’s materials grow darker

October 4, 2019 8:22 pm

The Secret Commonwealth (The Book of Dust, Volume 2) by Philip Pullman reviewed

ian mcewan

Ian McEwan’s anti-Brexit satire is a damp squib

October 4, 2019 8:10 pm

The Cockroach by Ian McEwan reviewed


Visiting the world’s masterpieces is a quixotic undertaking

October 4, 2019 5:07 pm

The Pursuit of Art: Travels, Encounters and Revelations by Martin Gayford reviewed


A ménage à trois that worked: Ivan Turgenev and the Viardots

October 4, 2019 4:46 pm

The Europeans: Three Lives and the Making of a Cosmopolitan Culture by Orlando Figes reviewed

ann patchett

Ann Patchett’s new novel is even better on second reading

October 4, 2019 4:22 pm

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett reviewed

gladwell strangers

Is the judiciary really so bad at judging character?

October 4, 2019 4:13 pm

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell reviewed


Man’s first instinct has always been to return to the sea

October 3, 2019 2:36 pm

The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans and The Outlaw Ocean: Crime and Survival in the Last Untamed Frontier reviewed

east india

Bad company

October 1, 2019 2:15 pm

The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple reviewed

debbie harry blondie

Blondie ambition

September 30, 2019 11:51 am

Face It by Debbie Harry reviewed