Books

Where the funny meets the horrible

11 September 2004 12:00 am

A century ago, Paradise might have appeared in the stout bindings of the Religious Tract Society and been distributed to…

A refusal to mourn

11 September 2004 12:00 am

‘Every true writer becomes a writer because of a profound trauma experienced in youth or childhood,’ wrote Amos Oz in…

That not impossible she

11 September 2004 12:00 am

Matt Thorne’s new novel might have been more usefully subtitled ‘A Suspension of Disbelief’. A novel called Cherry about sexual…

Busy doing nothing

11 September 2004 12:00 am

Tom Hodgkinson is a 21st-century Luddite. He wishes we could smash the principles of capitalist consumerism that enslave most of…

A most superior street

4 September 2004 12:00 am

Nancy Mitford did not enjoy readers’ letters, according to Harold Acton’s sprightly memoir (how unlike us, Miss Beale and Miss…

Shock tactics in love and life

4 September 2004 12:00 am

In this enthusiastic study of the bohemian Garman family, Cressida Connolly has chosen a hard task. Group biographies are tricky…

The gringo’s progress

4 September 2004 12:00 am

In his History of the Conquest of Mexico, Prescott described the bafflement of the Spanish arriving in a country where…

A fusillade from the last ditch

4 September 2004 12:00 am

Here are 90 furious little spats about our extraordinary and inadequate attitudes to God. Alice Thomas Ellis has subtitled them…

Service with a smile

4 September 2004 12:00 am

Alexis Soyer was Britain’s first celebrity chef, and the catalogue of his achievements dwarfs that of Delia or Jamie. He…

The return of the rotters

4 September 2004 12:00 am

Finishing The Rotters’ Club and finding ‘there will be a sequel’ posted at the back was a bit of good…

Not an egg, bean or crumpet

28 August 2004 12:00 am

Among the great works of art written in the prison camps of the second world war are Messiaen’s Quartet for…

Three welcome new voices

28 August 2004 12:00 am

Liars and Saintsby Maile MeloyJohn Murray, £14.99, pp. 260, ISBN 0719566444 Darien Dogsby Henry ShukmanJonathan Cape, £12.99, pp. 279, ISBN…

The gentle art of saying no

28 August 2004 12:00 am

Cynics have long noted that there are certain, relatively coarse, artistic vocations in which premature death can be a shrewd…

The great and the grumpy

28 August 2004 12:00 am

Denis Healey will never be the same, once you discover, as you do in this fizzing collection of mini-biographies, that…

With a little help from our friends

28 August 2004 12:00 am

Blenheim, 1704: Marlborough’s Greatest Victoryby James FalknerPen & Sword Military, £10.99, pp. 144, ISBN 184415050X By rights the battle of…

Power behind the scenes

28 August 2004 12:00 am

Parliament has so dominated the writing of English political history that the royal household has been sidelined. Moreover, the absence…

Music as the food of love

28 August 2004 12:00 am

Susanna Burney was the younger sister of the more famous Fanny (one of the best-loved of English diarists and author…

Fasten your seat-belts . . .

28 August 2004 12:00 am

The end of the world is nigh. Well, of course it is. Everything falls apart, sooner or later, including ourselves…

Coming in from the open air

28 August 2004 12:00 am

Selected Poemsby R. S. ThomasPenguin Modern Classics, £9.99, pp. 368, ISBN 0140188908 Some 40 years ago, about to sit an…

A terrible beauty reborn

21 August 2004 12:00 am

‘We are very proud of Amir Temur,’ the Uzbek ambassador to the Court of St James’s told Justin Marozzi. ‘We…

The cured man of Europe?

21 August 2004 12:00 am

Mustapha Kemal, otherwise Ataturk, took the corpse of the Ottoman empire and re- animated it as Turkey. Break-ing both the…

One man and his dog

21 August 2004 12:00 am

Six weeks after the defeat of the Taleban Rory Stewart started to walk across Afghanistan. He took the direct route…

Health, money, recipes and gossip

21 August 2004 12:00 am

In 1799 Susan O’Brien underwent an operation for breast cancer. She was 56 and, her sister having died of the…

The acceptable face of crime

21 August 2004 12:00 am

It was no fun being captured by pirates. Hanging from the yardarm or walking the plank was the least of…

Stifled at birth

21 August 2004 12:00 am

This is a reissue in paperback of a novel that utterly vanished on its first publication in 1998. Since it…