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Religion

Dangerous liaisons

24 June 2009
Surviving Allan Massie

Vagabond Voices, pp.224, 10

The Death of a Pope Piers Paul Read

Ignatius Press, pp.215, 19.95

Coward at the Bridge James Delingpole

Simon & Schuster, 12.99

Surviving, by Allan Massie The Death of a Pope, by Piers Paul Read Coward at the Bridge, by James Delingpole Alcoholism, with its lonely inner conflict between escapism and conscience,… Read more

Ways of escape

20 May 2009

At a time in modern, secular Britain when religion is seen not as the saviour but as the cause of many of society’s problems, we have become skilled not so… Read more

You can go home again

20 May 2009
Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands Aatish Taseer

Canongate, pp.323, 14.99

Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands, by Aatish Taseer The publication of Stranger to History is likely to be turned into a fiery political event in Pakistan.… Read more

Instead of the poem

13 May 2009
The Canterbury Tales Geoffrey Chaucer, retold by Peter Ackroyd

Penguin Classics, pp.437, 25

On this book’s title page its publishers enlarge on Peter Ackroyd’s ‘retelling’: his book, they declare, is at once a translation and — wait for it — an ‘adaptation’ of… Read more

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Henry’s VIII’s Psalter

15 April 2009

In this illumination from Henry’s VIII’s Psalter, the young David prepares to confront Goliath. In this illumination from Henry’s VIII’s Psalter, the young David prepares to confront Goliath. Dressed in… Read more

Doomed to despotism

7 April 2009
Khomeini’s Ghost Con Coughlin

Macmillan, pp.367, 25

The Life and Death of the Shah Gholam Reza Afkhami

Con Coughlin Gholam Reza Afkhami University of California Press, pp.713, 24.95

Khomeini’s Ghost, by Con Coughlin The Life and Death of the Shah, by Gholam Reza Afkhami The fall of the Shah of Iran at the beginning of 1979 took the… Read more

A balancing act

12 December 2008
English Catholic Heroes John Jolliffe (editor)

Gracewing, pp.242, 9.99

If anyone should wince at a hint of aggression in the title of this book — and some Catholics might — let him or her remember or read Charles Kingsley’s… Read more

All or nothing

12 December 2008
A Book of Silence Sara Maitland

Granta, pp.309, 17.99

A Book of Silence, by Sara Maitland The BBC sound archive has a range of different silences: ‘night silence in an urban street’; ‘morning silence, dawn, the South Downs’; ‘morning… Read more

Dirty diggers

3 December 2008
The Buddha & Dr Fuhrer Charles Allen

Haus Publishing, pp.276, 17.99

The Buddha & Dr Fuhrer, by Charles Allen Charles Allen’s latest book on India has a suitably exotic, occasionally improb- able, cast of characters. Centre stage is Dr Anton Führer,… Read more