Books

Master of most

18 September 2004 12:00 am

Andrew Marr is a great adornment to his — our — trade. He is terribly clever and well-read, and I…

Lost white dogs of Africa

18 September 2004 12:00 am

There is a fading misconception in Europe that every white person in South Africa lives the life of Reilly, albeit…

Goggling at the box

18 September 2004 12:00 am

This far from flimsy novel has been written and published with remarkable speed. Little more than a year ago, on…

Evangelism on the march

18 September 2004 12:00 am

When Robert Goizueta, Coca-Cola’s boss, attempted to justify his $80 million annual income to a meeting of shareholders he was…

Making sheep interesting

18 September 2004 12:00 am

He is most like a poet when writing least like one. Skim the titles of P. J. Kavanagh’s new collection…

Ketchup and thunder

18 September 2004 12:00 am

I have read somewhere that the friends of this author are worried. Apparently he is an MP, a shadow minister,…

Breaking out of purdah

18 September 2004 12:00 am

Reading Maharanis has something of the poignant pleasure of rummaging in the attic of a great house fallen into desuetude:…

Reheating the Cold War

18 September 2004 12:00 am

In the days when the Cold War provided depth and context to all spy fiction, Charles McCarry was the strongest…

Two halves don’t make a whole

18 September 2004 12:00 am

What on earth is a ‘high concept novel’? For the expression to have any meaning you’d have to have a…

A great-grandmother glimpsed

11 September 2004 12:00 am

I have a faded photograph of Frances Osborne. I imagine the moment the picture was taken: perhaps she had just…

The return of Cosa Nostra

11 September 2004 12:00 am

When Silvio Berlusconi came to power for the second time in May 2001, in a landslide victory, Italy became unique…

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…