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…

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Ghana Must Go, by Taiye Selasi - review

4 May 2013 9:00 am

Excitement over the extraterritorial birthplace of authors on Granta’s recent list of Britain’s best young novelists must have been old…

Portrait of Nikolai Leskov by Anatoly Lelako

The Enchanted Wanderer and Other Stories, by Nikolai Leskov - review

4 May 2013 9:00 am

Though underestimated in the English-speaking world, Nikolai Leskov is one of the greatest of 19th-century Russian writers. Donald Rayfield has…

A Delicate Truth, by John le Carré - review

4 May 2013 9:00 am

John Le Carré is one of a select group of novelists whose vivid and internally coherent imaginative worlds are so…