Fiction

Recent crime novels

26 May 2012 4:00 pm

William Brodrick’s crime novels have the great (and unusual) merit of being unlike anyone else’s, not least because his series…

Doctor in distress

26 May 2012 4:00 pm

It is winter 1936. Every weekday morning a group of young people travel by train from Ferrara, their home city,…

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Method in her magic

12 May 2012 5:00 pm

Bring Up the Bodies, as everybody knows, is the sequel to Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel’s fictional re-imagining of the life…

The courage of their convictions

12 May 2012 10:00 am

HHhH is a prize-winning French novel about a writer writing a novel about the plot to kill the Gestapo boss…

Fatal entrapment

12 May 2012 10:00 am

I am no great fan of spy thrillers and positively allergic to conspiracy theories, but I found this book difficult…

Family get together 

5 May 2012 11:00 am

Mark Haddon is in what must sometimes seem like the unenviable position of having written a first (adult) novel which…

Putting the fun in fundamentalism

5 May 2012 11:00 am

Turnaround Books, the publishers of Timothy Mo’s remarkable Pure, are revealed to operate from Unit 3, Olympia Trading Estate, Coburg…

The usual suspects

5 May 2012 11:00 am

It is disconcerting to discover that a novelist a generation older than oneself has been trying to write ‘a sort…

Cry freedom

21 April 2012 11:00 am

Scenes From Early Life is a rather dull title for a deeply interesting book. It is a novel; this is…

Nowhere to go but down

21 April 2012 10:00 am

I am just old enough to remember the terrific fuss that was made about the first Scots literary renaissance when…

The lady vanishes

14 April 2012 11:00 am

The spy thriller is not the easiest genre for an author to choose. In the first place, it is haunted…

A bit of slap and tickle

14 April 2012 9:00 am

Hard on the heels of the ecstatically received London revival of Michael Frayn’s Noises Off (currently playing at the Novello…

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A polished fragment

31 March 2012 11:00 am

One evening nearly 40 years ago the world’s press descended on Patrick White in Sydney: they rampaged outside his house,…

To thine own self be true

31 March 2012 10:00 am

Azazeel comes to Britain as the winner of the 2009 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, inevitably known as the ‘Arabic…

… in the fall of a sparrow

31 March 2012 10:00 am

Set in Romania in the 1950s, this is the story of two people, Augustin and Safta, who are both very…

What was it all for?

31 March 2012 9:00 am

What happens to a novelist who becomes the conscience of a nation? Nadine Gordimer, who is now 89 and whose…

Memory games

24 March 2012 12:00 pm

I read this novel while convalescing from pneumonia. It proved admirably fit for purpose. A light diet, mildly entertaining and…

Picking up the pieces

24 March 2012 12:00 pm

‘The World of Interiors’ might have been a better title for this novel. Its two chief protagonists, Catherine Gehrig and…

A choice of first novels

24 March 2012 10:00 am

Charlotte Rogan’s The Lifeboat (Virago, £12.99) comes garlanded with praise from the likes of J. M. Coetzee and Hilary Mantel.…

Joy to the world

17 March 2012 10:00 am

Patrick Gale’s new novel could be read as a companion work to his hugely successful Notes from an Exhibition, and…

Enigma variations

17 March 2012 10:00 am

This is a novel full of hints and mysteries.  Why does the Dutch woman rent a house in rural Wales,…

Deviation and double entendre

17 March 2012 10:00 am

If there’s anything full-time novelists hate more than a celebrity muscling in on their turf, it’s the celebrity doing such…

A matter of life and death

10 March 2012 11:00 am

Hmm. Of the 30-plus characters in this novel, not one is both black and British. Odd, since it’s set in…

Thirty years on

10 March 2012 11:00 am

One of the pleasures of Alan Judd’s books is their sheer variety. His work includes biographies of Ford Madox Ford…

Apocalypse now

10 March 2012 10:00 am

The blurb on the front of Grace McCleen’s debut novel (from Room author Emma Donoghue) proclaims it to be ‘extraordinary’,…