Rocco LaGrassa was ‘stout around the middle . . . wee at the ankles, and girlish at his tiny feet, a man in the shape of a lightbulb’. In Salvatore Scibona’s first novel we join this lightbulb of a man on perhaps his darkest day: the day on which the police arrive at his door to tell him his son has just died of tuberculosis in a prisoner-of-war camp in North Korea.
Henning Mankell bestrides the landscape of Scandavian crime fiction like a despondent colossus.
Frederic Raphael was the first man to use a four-letter word in The Spectator: the work of his fellow playwright Stephen King-Hall, he wrote in 1957, made him ‘puke’.
Will it ever end? The romantic interest in the architecture, history and life lived in the country house is as alive today as it was in 1978, when Mark Girouard wrote his seminal Life in the English Country House.
Philip Hensher’s King of the Badgers is set in Hanmouth, a small English coastal town described so thickly that it is established from the outset as effectively a character in itself.
When the Observer critic Philip French started writing on the cinema in the early 1960s, he once explained in an…
This book, written by someone whose husband was for three years prime minister of Britain, is impossible to review.
Twenty years ago, in 1991, I was shown round the National Palace in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.
For centuries, the history of the far North was a tapestry of controversies and mis- understandings, misspellings, dubious arrivals and equally dubious departures.
In 1988 Katherine Swift took a lease on the Dower House at Morville Hall, a National Trust property in Shropshire, and created a one-and-a-half acre garden in what had been a field.
Sam Leith explores H. G. Wells’s addiction to free love, as revealed in David Lodge’s latest biographical novel
London has been the subject of more anthologies than Samuel Pepys had hot chambermaids. This is fitting, as an anthology’s appeal — unexpected juxtaposition — matches that of the capital itself. But it does mean that any new contender has to work hard to justify its publication.
Jeremy Treglown finds something for everyone in Penguin’s new Mini Modern series
Other People’s Money — and How the Bankers Use It by Louis D. Brandeis was a collection of articles about the predatory practices of big banks, published in book form in 1914. Nearly a century later, it remains in print. In 1991 Danny de Vito starred as ‘Larry the Liquidator’ in the film Other People’s Money. The wanton boys of banking sport with us in life and art and in Justin Cartwright’s latest novel.
How curious that such an outsize man, in physique as well as personality, should be remembered today mainly for giving his name to a small fish.
With its vast areas of barely explored wilderness, and its heady mix of the sublime, the bizarre and the lushly seductive, South America would appear to have all the ingredients to attract the travel writer.
The cautionary slogan ‘less is more’ has never been the American writer Joyce Carol Oates’ watchword.
The papacy is in good shape and looks set to last another 2,000 years, says Paul Johnson; but too few popes in the past have been pious or clement or innocent
At more than 700 pages including appendices, Guardian writer Dorian Lynskey’s 33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs…
The title of this first novel refers to a version of childhood as a magical kingdom where evil can be overturned and heaven and earth remade at the whim of a power-crazed infant.
In the late 1960s I grew up in the London borough of Greenwich, which in those days had a shabby, post-industrial edge.
The first thing to be said about this remarkable book is that it has nothing to do with animal rights.
The long war between France and the US has its liveliest consequence in the world of film: Hollywood does movies, the French do cinema.
The distinguished writer Brian Masters in his handsomely produced book on the actors of the Garrick Club has set himself a formidable task.