Philip Womack

What happens in the wake of The Wake

9 July 2016 9:00 am

The Wake, Paul Kingsnorth’s Booker-longlisted debut novel, was set just after the Norman Conquest, and was told in an odd…

Coming of age in New York

20 February 2016 9:00 am

I read this, Meg Rosoff’s first novel for adults (though her previous fiction, aimed at teenagers, is widely enjoyed by…

Catullus, Clodia and the pangs of despised love

6 February 2016 9:00 am

Reading Daisy Dunn’s ambitious first book, a biography of the salty (in more ways than one) Roman poet Catullus, it…

Battle of Waterloo (Photo: Getty)

A lull in hostilities for Matthew Hervey

2 May 2015 9:00 am

Allan Mallinson’s historical series concerning Matthew Hervey, the well-bred, thoughtful soldier, details a world where men are practical and not…

Time-travel, smugglers, arsenic — what’s not to like in Sally Gardner’s novel for teenagers?

17 January 2015 9:00 am

Which of us, as an adolescent, did not experience at some point a terrible sense of not belonging? Which of…

Looking for the meaning of life? Come to Constantine Phipps' poetic theme park

31 May 2014 9:00 am

A favourite game of mine is to imagine Virgil and Homer today, plying their trade among the supermarkets and office…

Questioning tales

7 January 2012 10:00 am

Tessa Hadley’s previous book, The London Train, was one of the best novels of last year, though overlooked by prize…

Chuckles in the middle of nowhere

25 January 2007 8:46 am

I really wanted to like this book. After the dire Eragon, which has now been made into a worse film,…

In praise of unwanted gerundives

9 November 2006 8:44 am

I had a succession of brilliantly eccentric Classics teachers. Father Hunnwycke, a kindly and acerbic priest, showed his hatred of…

Magic and mischief

11 October 2006 5:19 pm

Susanna Clarke taps enchantingly into a vein of folkloric gold. She presents our world as existing in tandem with ‘Faerie’,…

Just imagine that

21 January 2006 12:00 am

This is a loosely connected series of tales which make up an intriguing, sometimes frustrating and occasionally both compelling and…