thu 02/02/2023

book reviews and features

Jonathan Miles: St Petersburg review - culture and calamity

Marina Vaizey

Talk about survival: St Petersburg, Petrograd, Leningrad, now again St Petersburg, all the same...

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Chris Patten: First Confession - A Sort of Memoir review - remembrances of government and power

Liz Thomson

It’s 25 years since Chris Patten lost his seat as Conservative MP for Bath. The 1992 election was called by...

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Brenda Maddox: Reading the Rocks review - revelations of geology

Marina Vaizey

Reading the Rocks has a provocative subtitle, “How Victorian Geologists Discovered the Secret of Life”, indicating the role of...

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John Man: Amazons review - the real warrior women of the ancient world

mark Kidel

As Wonder Woman hits screens worldwide, the publication of a book that explores the myth and...

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David Sedaris: Theft By Finding review - comic literary talent of historic value

Matthew Wright

In a voice of distinctive, high-pitched nasal whimsy, comic essayist and memoirist David Sedaris finds humour with the precision of a mosquito after blood. British...

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Andrew O'Hagan: The Secret Life review – troubling tales from the online underground

Boyd Tonkin

Imagine that you come across a story by a journalist who, writing for the Daily Mail or The Sun, steals the identity of a real young man from a poor neighbourhood of south-east...

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Elif Batuman: The Idiot review - memories of student life and travels meander

Marina Vaizey

University, anyone? Student days? If you were ever an undergraduate, who does not remember the simultaneous sense of dislocation and excitement, the feeling of the familiar combined with a heady...

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Peter Ackroyd: Queer City - London's gay life over two millennia

Tom Birchenough

2017 is proving the year of celebrating queer. To mark 50 years of the decriminalisation of homosexuality, we...

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Evgeny Kissin: Memoirs and Reflections review - Russian education, European conviction, Jewish heritage

David Nice

"Generally speaking," writes Evgeny Kissin in one of the many generous tributes to those whose artistry he most admires, "the mastery of [Carlo Maria] Giulini is exactly what is dearest of all to...

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Hanif Kureishi, Brighton Festival review - a combative, funny and moving talk

Nick Hasted

Hanif Kureishi and his interviewer Mark Lawson are both wearing black Nike trainers, and long professional acquaintance makes them as comfortable with each other as...

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latest in today

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, Harold Pinter Theatre re...

Culture which arrives from the margins to the mainstream is a classic phenomenon. In the case of Sam Steiner’s Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons...

Album: The Waeve - The Waeve

The Waeve is the debut album from life partners Rose Elinor Dougall (long ago in The Pipettes) and Graham Coxon (of Blur), working with...

Two Billion Beats, Orange Tree Theatre review - lively, but...

Do the right thing! But doing the right thing isn’t easy – especially if you are a teen. And a female teen who is being pressurised by your mother...

January review - the end is nigh in vampirised Bulgaria

At their best, horror movies reflect destabilisation caused by cracks in the social fabric. The crack indicated in the documentarist Andrey...

Album: Lisa O'Neill - All of This Is Chance

Lisa O’Neill is a part of the new wave of Irish contemporary folk artists, one that encompasses the likes of Lankum, Ye Vagabonds...

Leonskaja, Staatskapelle Streichquartett, Wigmore Hall / Sec...

It’s dangerous to claim a sense of absolute rightness about a musical performance; that could mean no more than responding to an interpretation...

Othello, Lyric Hammersmith review - Frantic Assembly's...

Frantic Assembly’s Othello, originally co-developed with the Lyric in 2008, is back in its third iteration, and it’s still not...

Blu-ray: The War Trilogy - Three Films by Andrzej Wajda

Watching these harrowing films in rapid succession allows us to watch a great...

Ólafsson, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - spirit of delight

This concert was advertised as the completion of an Elgar symphony cycle, though in the absence of the reconstructed Third, that meant the second...

Sound of the Underground, Royal Court review - loud and triu...

Ever been to a queer club? You know, drag cabaret night at Madame Jojo’s, or the Black Cap or Her Upstairs. No? Well, not to worry – the...

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