Books

Cardinal Richelieu is transformed from villain to ‘physical and moral genius’ in Dumas’s sequel to The Three Musketeers

There’s swash and buckle galore in Dumas’s sequel to The Three Musketeers

18 February 2017 9:00 am

A feeble king and his scheming minister, a hunchback noble and the Daughters of Repentance, a botched assassination and a…

Cosette, by Emile-Antoine Bayard. Illustration for Les Misérables

Victor Hugo speaks volumes for the outcast and the destitute

18 February 2017 9:00 am

Somewhere between his first and second drafts, Victor Hugo decided to change the title of his great novel from Les…

How LSD saved my marriage — and my life

18 February 2017 9:00 am

Ayelet Waldman is, surely, not the first writer to have scrolled through a list of ‘Books of the Year’ and…

How to improve bedside manners

18 February 2017 9:00 am

‘A tricky part of my job,’ the GP said, scrolling through the next patient’s notes, ‘is breaking good news.’ As…

Three’s a crowd in James Lasdun’s The Fall Guy

18 February 2017 9:00 am

James Lasdun’s latest novel, billed as a psychological thriller, opens in Brooklyn in the summer of 2012. Charlie and his…

Rod Taylor works his invention in a film version of HG. Wells’s The Time Machine

Cheating death by time travel

11 February 2017 9:00 am

The concept of time travel is surprisingly recent, says Jenny Colgan. Before H.G. Wells, it barely existed

Michael Chabon’s ‘faux-memoir novel’ is a simple song about love

11 February 2017 9:00 am

Michael Chabon’s back. He’d never gone away, of course — more than a dozen books in all — but it’s…

Crimes against women

11 February 2017 9:00 am

There isn’t a clear line separating crime and literary fiction, but a border zone where ideas are passed from one…

The interior of Hagia Sophia by Gaspare Fossati, 1852

There is no one Istanbul, but a series of competing, clashing, coexisting cities

11 February 2017 9:00 am

I was a young, aspiring writer when I decided to leave everything behind and move to Istanbul more than two…

Illustration by Alfonse Adolf Bichard for the original Adventures of Baron Munchausen

Baron Munchausen is back

11 February 2017 9:00 am

Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky was born in the wrong place at the wrong time. Had his Polish ancestor not been exiled to…

Molly Keane’s bad behaviour

11 February 2017 9:00 am

Molly Keane achieved fame and critical acclaim in 1981 aged 75, when she published the novel Good Behaviour, a razor-sharp…

Emily Witt is a disgrace to feminism

11 February 2017 9:00 am

‘I was single, straight, and female,’ Emily Witt begins, with all the élan of an alcoholic stating her name and…

‘The funeral of Shelley’ by Louis Edouard Paul Fournier, 1889

Why are ‘doomed’ poets considered the only good ones?

11 February 2017 9:00 am

In Deaths of the Poets two living examples of the species, Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts, retail the closing…

First Love: a hilarious send-up of chick lit

11 February 2017 9:00 am

If ever there was a book for our uncaring, unsharing times, it is Gwendoline Riley’s First Love, in which Neve,…

The unexpected delights of dementia

11 February 2017 9:00 am

August Geiger led an unremarkable life. Born in 1926, the third of ten children of a Catholic farming family in…

A frightened Bruno Hauptmann — dubbed ‘The Most Hated Man in the World’— awaits questioning by the FBI over the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby

Ludovic Kennedy — righter of wrongs

11 February 2017 9:00 am

I used to work for Ludo, as we all knew him on BBC2’s Did You See?, and was once thought…

Maipure Indians, inhabitants of the Upper Orinoco, grill the limbs of a dead enemy (Italian engraving, 1781)

Eating people is rare (and very unhealthy)

4 February 2017 9:00 am

The subject has been popularised from Homer to the Brothers Grimm, but, mercifully, human cannibalism has always been rare, says Philip Hensher

A Tibetan woman prays at the Jokhang temple in Lhasa in September 2004 after one of many harsh crackdowns by the Chinese in Tibet

Will non-violent resistance ever work against communism?

4 February 2017 9:00 am

Tibetans were once fabled warriors. Their empire, at the summit of its power in the eighth century, extended to northern…

Attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941

All at sea at Pearl Harbor

4 February 2017 9:00 am

On 7 December 1941, without declaration of war, 350 Japanese carrier-borne aircraft struck at the US Pacific Fleet at anchor…

Paul Auster’s 4 3 2 1 is an epic home-run

4 February 2017 9:00 am

After a long struggle to receive mainstream publication, Paul Auster’s first few novels were a genuinely significant contribution to American…

Give yourself a treat and hurry on down to Spook Street

4 February 2017 9:00 am

It’s good to be back in Spook Street, home of the nation’s secret service. From a handful of locations across…

Love and loss in America’s wide open spaces

4 February 2017 9:00 am

We know our way around Raymond Carver’s blue-collar cityscapes and Updike’s urban angst and despair. Rick Bass opens a window…

Elif Shafak’s Three Daughters of Eve agonise over religion, identity, freedom and feminism

4 February 2017 9:00 am

It’s terribly difficult to write a novel about soul-searching, and Elif Shafak has come up with a rather clever device…

Ismail Kadare satirises the artful Hoxha

4 February 2017 9:00 am

Blood, they say, is quick on the knife in Albania, where Balkan-style revenge killings, known as giakmarrje (‘blood-takings’), settle ancient…

How impartial is the US judiciary?

4 February 2017 9:00 am

James D. Zirin is an experienced litigator as well as the host of a popular television talkshow. In this provocative…