wed 30/11/2022

book reviews and features

Afua Hirsch: Brit(ish) review - essential reading on identity

Marina Vaizey

Usually extracts in newspapers should stimulate the appetite of the reader to get with it; this is a rare moment when the glimpses afforded to Afua Hirsch’s Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and...

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Julian Barnes: The Only Story review - passion, pain and sorrow in Surrey

Boyd Tonkin

From his debut Metroland, right up to the Man Booker-winning The Sense of an Ending, the prospect of a road not taken has haunted the mild and mediocre narrators of Julian Barnes...

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Dave Eggers: The Monk of Mokha review - how to become a grand master of coffee

Markie Robson-Scott

A macchiato may never taste the same again. If you’ve ever wondered about the politics and history behind your cup of designer coffee, The Monk of Mokha will answer all your questions,...

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Bruno Maçães: The Dawn of Eurasia review - middle of nowhere

Katherine Waters

Part travelogue and part broad analysis of the current and future challenges facing the EU, the premise of Bruno Maçães’s new book The Dawn of Eurasia is to “use travel to provide an...

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David Lodge: Writer’s Luck - A Memoir 1976-1991 review - literary days, in detail

Marina Vaizey

Metaphor, metonymy, simile and synecdoche, anyone? FR Leavis, Roman Jakobson, Jacques Derrida, Frank Kermode? If any of this, and more, turns you on, this lengthy...

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Nick Coleman: Voices - How a Great Singer Can Change Your Life, review - earworms explored

Liz Thomson

Readers familiar with Nick Coleman’s 2012 memoir The Train in the Night will know before embarking on this book that the author suffered the worst possible fate for a music journalist:...

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Best of 2017: Books

Boyd Tonkin

With a clownish bully currently installed in the White House, the 2017 Man Booker Prize aptly went to a...

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Nicholas Blincoe: Bethlehem - Biography of a Town review - too few wise men but remarkable women

Boyd Tonkin

Suitably enough, Nicholas Blincoe begins his personal ...

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Jenny Uglow: Mr Lear - A Life of Art and Nonsense review - a lonely Victorian life, so richly illustrated

Marina Vaizey

Jenny Uglow’s biography of Edward Lear (1812-1888) is a meander, almost day by day, through the long and...

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Naum Kleiman: Eisenstein on Paper review - a lavish journey into the unconscious

David Nice

"From drawing, via the theatre, to the cinema". Naum Kleiman's  introductory qualification of Sergey Eisenstein's own self-perceived line in his Film Form is one that he follows in a...

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Christian Gerhaher, Gerold Huber, Wigmore Hall review - mute...

There is no mistaking Christian Gerhaher. His voice is a light, agile baritone, and it is utterly distinctive. He is a very verbal singer, and is...

Neil Young: Harvest Time review - a thrillingly intimate fly...

“You’re filmin’ a movie or something – can you explain this?” the radio DJ turns to Neil Young, a laugh underpinning his question and setting the...

BBC National Chorus of Wales, BBC NOW, Jeannin, BBC Hoddinot...

There are conductors, and then again there are...

Album: Leftfield - This Is What We Do

This Is What We Do is only Leftfield’s fourth album in a career that has lasted almost 35 years (on and off). But if there is a...

Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Harry Baker, Noisenight 13, Jazz Cafe...

The elation in the queue was palpable as people stood laughing and chatting in the November cold waiting for the doors of the Jazz Café to open...

Arms and the Man, Orange Tree Theatre review - a rollicking...

For his final bow as artistic director of the...

Justin Adams & Mohamed Errebbaa, The Jam Jar, Bristol re...

Justin Adams has been exploring music that produces trance or near-trance states for a number of years. Along with being Robert Plant’s lead...

theartsdesk Radio Show 34 - with post-punk visionary Lu Edmo...

Welcome to the latest edition of Peter Culshaw’s occasional radio show, which normally has a global music focus. This week’s guest for...

Park Jiha, Stone Nest, K-Music - timeless evocative East-Wes...

Even those with the most tangential connection to pop music will be aware that K-Pop is all conquering, and the likes of BTS and BlackPink are on...

Blu-ray: Son of the White Mare

Son of the White Mare (Fehérlófia), a 1981 Hungarian...

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