Books

The frozen, unruly north

26 February 2005 12:00 am

John Gimlette is a writer of vivid comical prose, whose first travel book appeared under the title At the Tomb…

How much of a saint?

26 February 2005 12:00 am

Most biographies are written against a sketchy background of historical events drawn with just enough broad strokes of the brush…

Defeat and betrayal

19 February 2005 12:00 am

When Paul Foot died last July, he was more widely and deeply mourned than any other journalist for years past,…

Micawber with a touch of Skimpole

19 February 2005 12:00 am

Biographers, in their desperate search for a suitable subject hitherto undiscovered by their professional colleagues, sometimes light on a figure…

Baby, it’s cold outside

19 February 2005 12:00 am

The very title of Leaving Home announces a quintessential Brook- ner theme. A heroine in her novels will always face…

The limits of post-mortem knowledge

19 February 2005 12:00 am

Not many collections of old reviews and lectures make worthwhile books, no matter how skilfully topped and tailed; but everything…

Pigtails among the haystacks

19 February 2005 12:00 am

During the bitter winter that seized Britain in earnest at the end of January 1947, the children of the village…

You can’t go home again

19 February 2005 12:00 am

Bombay, the biggest city on the planet, is built on a combination of palm fronds, fish entrails and the dreams…

There shone one woman

19 February 2005 12:00 am

In January 1798 Talleyrand gave a magnificent ball designed to honour Josephine, who had married Bona- parte two years earlier.…

The decline of the West?

19 February 2005 12:00 am

David Thomson is one of a handful of highbrow film critics writing today, along with Ron Rosen- baum and David…

Life and letters

12 February 2005 12:00 am

Why you should judge a book by its cover

The painter properly portrayed

12 February 2005 12:00 am

We are continually told that biography is the dominant literary expression of the age, that Britain, in particular, is a…

Tunnel of love vision

12 February 2005 12:00 am

Tim Madden, the narrator of Norman Mailer’s Tough Guys Don’t Dance (1984), offers a perceptive instance of literary criticism when…

Fits and starts

12 February 2005 12:00 am

A book with a title like Epileptic does not raise high expectations: will it be an account of suffering nobly…

A guide who opens eyes

12 February 2005 12:00 am

Is there a more charming literary companion than Al Alvarez? In this extended series of lectures he examines the writer’s…

Huddled masses yearning to breathe free

12 February 2005 12:00 am

As asylum looks like being a key election issue, Caroline Moore- head reminds us of one simple truth. No one…

A floating, maybe drowning voter

12 February 2005 12:00 am

John Harris, the mop-topped commentator from Manchester, better known as a music journalist (and a very fine one) than a…

The case of the missing parrot

5 February 2005 12:00 am

At the centre of Michael Chabon’s earlier novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, was a comic book hero…

A tongue that still wags

5 February 2005 12:00 am

Among the unexpected pieces of information in this enjoyable ramble among the picturesque ruins of the Latin language is the…

A celebration with a warning

5 February 2005 12:00 am

Geoffrey Hill publishes books in verse rather than collections of poems. This is admirable but presents a reviewer with problems.…

From heroes to hicks

5 February 2005 12:00 am

The flavour of Stephen Graubard’s account of the American presidency in the 20th century may be quickly grasped from his…

He didn’t linger

5 February 2005 12:00 am

The Australian Robert Dessaix, a Russian scholar, chooses to regard himself, in relation to Western civilisation, as an ancient Greek…

Life and letters

29 January 2005 12:00 am

There's a new bully at Grange Hill

The weedy wanderer

29 January 2005 12:00 am

The biographers, like eager heirs round a deathbed, were amassing by Robert Louis Stevenson’s side while he was still breathing.…

He was the first to blink

29 January 2005 12:00 am

This book illuminates Brown and his circle: they appear paranoid and anyone who challenges them has to be done in.…