Books

Challenge and response

1 March 2003 12:00 am

The first four pages of this novel arouse the highest expectations. Some walkers in the Snowdon area stare up at…

Down to the last detail

1 March 2003 12:00 am

One might assume that the Oxford novel, like some long-delayed train finally pulling into Paddington, has run its course. Bright…

Oppenheimer: fact and fiction

1 March 2003 12:00 am

‘Truth of fact and truth of fiction are incompatible,’ Virginia Woolf once wrote. She was deploring the decision of her…

Living under the volcano

1 March 2003 12:00 am

Regrettably history is not among the core subjects now prescribed by the government’s umpteenth overhaul of the national curriculum. The…

The next best thing

1 March 2003 12:00 am

This handsome book should be given to all those non-Waltonians who say, ‘I don’t fish because I haven’t got the…

Nothing new on display

1 March 2003 12:00 am

Assuming that a biography is worth writing in the first place, it is often asserted that after 20 years or…

Radiance in suburbia

22 February 2003 12:00 am

Shena Mackay has had a difficult and unconventional career, and it has taken a long time for most readers to…

The Russian language front

22 February 2003 12:00 am

During the war against Hitler, secret services recruited on the old boy net: there was no other way of being…

One man’s prime numbers

22 February 2003 12:00 am

When you are a bestselling novelist you get to do things your way. So this isn’t 32 Songs, which would…

Bum ego trip

22 February 2003 12:00 am

‘Our lives are one endless stretch of misery punctuated by processed fast foods and the occasional crisis or amusing curiosity,’…

The Stuart we fail to remember

22 February 2003 12:00 am

In 1066 and All That there is a spoof exam question: ‘How can you be so numb and vague about…

A palely loitering revenant

22 February 2003 12:00 am

‘Reviewers,’ laments the Dr Cake of Andrew Motion’s title, ‘they are devils. Devils. I have seen good men, good authors,…

The boy who saw too much and too little

22 February 2003 12:00 am

Already a bestseller in the many countries where it has been published, I’m Not Scared was described to me as…

Not eating or cheating

22 February 2003 12:00 am

‘She was like a bride, they said, festooned in ribbons and bows, a large crucifix resting on her bosom,’ records…

A soft tread and a sure touch

22 February 2003 12:00 am

Short stories are best read one a night just before you go to sleep, and this collection by Angela Huth,…

Articles of faith

15 February 2003 12:00 am

Richard Dawkins loves fighting. More precisely, he loves winning. To be Dawkinsed, as this selection from his essays of the…

She fashioned her future

15 February 2003 12:00 am

Judging by her own ideals of beauty and drama, Diana Dalziel’s arrival in the world must have been a bit…

Why is a birch-tree like a melon?

15 February 2003 12:00 am

This is the time of year for armchair gardening. The cold, dark days give one the chance to ignore the…

Homage to A. B. Roger

15 February 2003 12:00 am

Woodruff, you have not come to Oxford to take examinations, you have come to learn. The whole purpose of Oxford…

When Irish eyes were smiling

15 February 2003 12:00 am

THE SHADOWS OF ELISA LYNCHby Si

Looking – and looking away

15 February 2003 12:00 am

Sebald is perturbed by the almost complete failure of German writers to describe the devastation of their country by British…

A palpable hit

15 February 2003 12:00 am

If you happen to be one of those maddeningly quick-witted or sideways-thinking readers who can spot at a glance that…

Only slightly under the influence

15 February 2003 12:00 am

‘The Age of Russia,’ according to the doom-fraught speculations Oswald Spengler published in 1918, would succeed ‘the Decline of the…

A question of upbringing

8 February 2003 12:00 am

Superficially, Hitler and Churchill resembled each other, in the way that two very powerful leaders will. In particular, as Andrew…

A picture that tells a story

8 February 2003 12:00 am

Can it be said that anyone is sane, that anyone is healthy – or does all life consist of degrees…