tue 07/02/2023

book reviews and features

Simon Sebag Montefiore: Written in History review - epistolary high points

Marina Vaizey

Humdinger! This is a totally brilliant idea for an amazing anthology, although the subtitle “Letters that Changed...

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Neil MacGregor: Living with the Gods review - focuses of belief

Marina Vaizey

Dip in, dip out, argue, agree and disagree: Living with the Gods is the newest manifestation of a rich multimedia format that keeps on giving, devised by that superb writer and lecturer,...

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Lavinia Greenlaw: In the City of Love’s Sleep review - curated lives

Katherine Waters


Iris is a museum conservator with a pair of pre-adolescent daughters and a failing marriage. Raif...

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Olga Tokarczuk: Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead review - on vengeful nature

Katherine Waters

In a small town on the Polish-Czech border where the mobile signal wanders between countries’ operators and only three inhabitants stick it out through the winter, animals are wreaking a terrible...

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Michael Hughes: Country review - epic troubles

Matthew Wright

Michael Hughes’ second novel, superimposing the post-96 Troubles on the story of The Iliad, rides a wave of Homeric re-tellings, with Pat Barker and Colm Tóibín having recently...

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Yuval Noah Harari: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century review - a sceptic's optimism?

Marina Vaizey

The bestseller Sapiens (2011, first published in English in 2014) by the hitherto little-known Israeli academic Yuval Noah Harari has sold enormously well, and justly so: recommended by...

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P.E.Caquet: The Bell of Treason review - the sacrifice of Czechoslovakia

Jasper Rees

It was 80 years ago next month that Neville Chamberlain returned with the good news of peace in our time...

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h 100 Awards: Publishing and Writing - other stories, other voices

Boyd Tonkin

If history repeats itself, better hope that it corrects its mistakes as well. This year’s nominations for the...

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Roger Scruton: Music as an Art review - how to listen?

Marina Vaizey

Hegel, Kant, David Hume, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Leibniz are all adduced, referred to, and paraphrased, and that’s just for starters. Add Rameau, Schubert, Beethoven, Benjamin Britten and the...

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Annie Ernaux: The Years, review - time’s flow

Katherine Waters

“When you were our age, how did you imagine your life? What did you hope for?” It is a video of a classroom south-east of the Périphérique separating Paris from the working-class suburbs. The...

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latest in today

Eliza Carthy and The Restitution, Barbican review - folk at...

Eliza Carthy has been busy, as she always has. Recording various albums with various artists during the pandemic, her show with her band, "The...

The Damnation of Faust, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - the devil...

No work gives its listeners such pleasure on the way to hell (and back) as...

Saint Omer review - exile and erasure

Saint Omer is a psychological and sociological mystery, unpicking the enigma of Laurence (Guslagie Malanda), a French...

The Cunning Little Vixen, Opera North review - magic of a cl...

It’s good to think that there are some opera productions – not just compositions – that in themselves can have the status of classics. David...

Smoke, Southwark Playhouse review - dazzling Strindberg upda...

A play’s title can be an almost arbitrary matter – there’s no streetcar but plenty of desire in that one for example...

Album: Yo La Tengo - This Stupid World

Yo La Tengo’s new disc would appear to be an homage to the indie ...

Music Reissues Weekly: The Senders - All Killer No Filler

The New York Dolls, The Ramones, Suicide, Television, Blondie, The Dictators, The Heartbreakers, The Shirts, Richard Hell and the Voidoids. From...

Fauda, Season 4, Netflix review - Israeli terrorism thriller...

Bald, barrel-shaped and pugnacious, Doron Kavillio (Lior Raz) could have been conceived as the anti-Bond or the un-Ethan Hunt. But as action...

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish review - thrilling adventure wi...

The Shrek universe expands a little more with Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, another...

Album: Shania Twain - Queen of Me

Shania Twain describes her sixth studio album as “a song of gratitude and appreciation. I was inspired that I still had air in my lungs” – and it...

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