Canal boat

Chaplin & Company, by Mave Fellowes - review

31 August 2013 9:00 am

The unlikely heroine of Mave Fellowes’s Chaplin & Company (Cape, £16.99) is a highly-strung, posh-speaking, buttoned-up 18-year-old with the unhelpful…

This Town, by Mark Leibovich - review

24 August 2013 9:00 am

Many books have been written about the corruption, venality and incestuousness that characterise Washington DC, but none has been as…

Red or Dead by David Peace - review

24 August 2013 9:00 am

The last time David Peace wrote a novel about football he got his publishers sued for libel, which may help…

The Son, by Philipp Meyer - review

3 August 2013 9:00 am

Colonel Eli McCullough, formerly known as Tiehteti, is a living legend. The first male child born in the Republic of…

Shire, by Ali Smith - review

3 August 2013 9:00 am

Pastoral elegy is not what you expect to find in a collection of short stories, but then Ali Smith is…

Wreaking, by James Scudamore - review

27 July 2013 9:00 am

An abandoned lunatic asylum, a nasty pornographer in a wheelchair, a bizarre glass-ceilinged viewing dome beneath a scummy lake, a…

The Breath of Night, by Michael Arditti

27 July 2013 9:00 am

There is always meat in Michael Arditti’s novels. He is a writer who presents moral problems via fiction but is…

Film-star looks: ‘The heroines in all Barbara Comyns’s novels 
are obviously wildly attractive — though she never says so’

Jane Gardam on Barbara Comyns - essay

6 July 2013 9:00 am

The Vet’s Daughter is Barbara Comyns’s fourth and most startling novel. Written in 1959 when she was 50 it is…

The Spinning Heart, by Donal Ryan - review

29 June 2013 9:00 am

Despite being so short, The Spinning Heart certainly can’t be accused of lacking ambition. Over the course of its 150-odd…

The Flamethrowers, by Rachel Kushner - review

29 June 2013 9:00 am

This bright, burning flame of a novel takes place in the art world of 1970s New York. Our guide to…

Vauxhall, by Gabriel Ghadomosi; Sketcher, by Roland Watson-Grant - review

29 June 2013 9:00 am

At the grubbier end of my street in north London is the Somali mosque that was burned down earlier this…

An Englishman in Madrid, by Eduardo Mendoza - review

29 June 2013 9:00 am

To Spaniards, the English must appear a highly contradictory people. The stereotype of the restrained, well-dressed gentleman (Spain’s largest department…

The Professor of Poetry, by Grace McCleen - review

29 June 2013 9:00 am

Elizabeth Stone, English professor at UCL,  has long lived on ‘paper and words and thin air’. Single, friendless, dessicated, respected,…

Constance, by Patrick McGrath - review

22 June 2013 9:00 am

Patrimony and infidelity are defining themes of the Anglo-American relationship, as they are of Constance, a novel with alternating narrators:…


Bedford Park, by Bryan Appleyard - review

15 June 2013 9:00 am

Nothing in Bryan Appleyard’s Bedford Park betrays the fact that it is his first period novel: not its deft characterisations,…

The Dark Road, by Ma Jian - review

1 June 2013 9:00 am

If you are considering adopting — that is, buying — a Chinese baby girl, recycling a television or computer, or…

Whirligig, by Magnus Mcintyre - review

1 June 2013 9:00 am

I do not have much time for the idea of the redemptive power of the countryside. I am not alone…

Last Friends, by Jane Gardam - review

1 June 2013 9:00 am

Any writer who embarks on a trilogy is either extremely confident or taking something of a risk. The danger is…

They really were in love: Scott, Zelda and their daughter Frances (‘Scottie’) in Paris

Z, by Therese Anne Fowler, Beautiful Fools, by R. Clifton Spargo, Careless People, by Sarah Churchill - review

1 June 2013 9:00 am

The Great Gatsby is one of those great works of literature, like Pride and Prejudice, that appeals as much to…

All the Birds, Singing, by Evie Wyld - review

25 May 2013 9:00 am

Half in jest, Evie Wyld has described her highly garlanded first book After the Fire, a Still Small Voice as…

The Hive, by Gill Hornby - review

25 May 2013 9:00 am

Who would have thought that the idea for a novel about mothers at the school gate would spark a frenzied…

Crime fiction reviewed by Andrew Taylor

18 May 2013 9:00 am

An epigraph taken from Goebbels’s only published novel certainly makes a book stand out from the crowd. A Man Without…

Big Brother, by Lionel Shriver - review

18 May 2013 9:00 am

‘I am white rice’ states Pandora Half-danarson, narrator of Lionel Shriver’s obesity fable. ‘I have always existed to set off…


The not-so-great Gatsby

11 May 2013 9:00 am

The cult around Fitzgerald’s most overrated work feeds the illusions of upper-crust Americans

And the Mountain Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini - review

11 May 2013 9:00 am

The American comedian Stephen Colbert once joked that when he publicly criticised the novels of Khaled Hosseini, his front garden…