Books

Laying a persistent ghost

28 February 2004 12:00 am

Although it probably won’t, this book deserves to lay the ghost of Dresden, to demolish the myth and establish the…

‘The only man in Paris’

28 February 2004 12:00 am

Eugenia de Montijo was born in a tent, during an earthquake, in Granada in 1826. Her father, a Liberal minor…

Flattening the literary landscape

21 February 2004 12:00 am

Despite the title, this is not one of those gloom-mongering surveys of the state of culture that so regularly (usually…

Closely related deaths

21 February 2004 12:00 am

Good Morning, Midnight is an excellent novel by that mistress of introspective sensitivity, Jean Rhys. Reginald Hill hijacks the title…

A clear case of ‘misunderestimation’

21 February 2004 12:00 am

American Dynastyby Kevin PhillipsPenguin/Allen Lane, £18.99, pp. 397, ISBN 071399746X The prosperous Floridan seaside resort of Sarasota should be natural…

Fear of fleeing

21 February 2004 12:00 am

Tucked into the pages of The Tyrant’s Novel, Thomas Keneally has slipped a short letter. Giving his reasons for writing…

Scholar and Cold War warrior

21 February 2004 12:00 am

When not thinking and writing, Richard Pipes tells us in these memoirs, he is at a loose end. At different…

The great English blight

21 February 2004 12:00 am

Mark Abley is a Canadian poet of Welsh descent who has recently been travelling the world in search of minority…

Here be dragons aplenty

21 February 2004 12:00 am

Walter Moers has cleverly built a fantastical tale around 21 drawings from the work of the famous 19th-century illustrator, Gustave…

A curse — or a blessing in disguise

21 February 2004 12:00 am

The death of Francesco Cenci has the ring of a contemporary crime. A wealthy, well-connected man is killed when he…

Sweet water and bitter

21 February 2004 12:00 am

‘Naturalist-in-charge’ was Shel-ton’s title as fisheries expert on board the Tellina, a research vessel. It holds good throughout this excellent…

Helping to set Europe ablaze

21 February 2004 12:00 am

The Museum of the French Resistance in Brittany lies just outside Saint-Marcel in the Morbihan department, near to Malestroit. It…

Roller-coaster of a ride

14 February 2004 12:00 am

David Mitchell has fast established himself as a novelist of considerable authority and power. His first novel, Ghostwritten, was published…

A thoughtful trip to the seaside

14 February 2004 12:00 am

Set in Anatolia in 1922, The Maze describes the retreat of a Greek brigade to the sea. Under the questionable…

A breeze with a hint of rain

14 February 2004 12:00 am

Diplomat, soldier, diplomat again, humanitarian, environmentalist: you cannot plan a career like that today. But that has been the CV…

The war and a sprained ankle

14 February 2004 12:00 am

The story of the emergence of the poet from the prose writer Edward Thomas — not his emergence as an…

Sins of the fathers

14 February 2004 12:00 am

Dan Fesperman’s first book, Lie in the Dark, was a fine debut: set in Sarajevo during the civil war, it…

A serious case of rising damp

14 February 2004 12:00 am

In this, her ninth novel, Maggie Gee has determinedly sought — like God in the beginning — to make the…

Early Essex man

14 February 2004 12:00 am

Crime is a species of performance art. Acts of murder, theft or fraud assume the collusive presence of an audience…

‘My libido’s last hurrah!’

14 February 2004 12:00 am

At first sight Gilbert Adair’s new book seems like shameless pornography of a particularly sad and depraved kind, but more…

Butcher in the Rye

14 February 2004 12:00 am

In 1743 John Breads, a butcher, stabbed to death Allen Grebell in the declining Cinque port town of Rye on…

An early search for WMD

7 February 2004 12:00 am

Any author who subtitles his book ‘The true story of …’ this, that or the other inspires some disquiet in…

High jinks and slaughter

7 February 2004 12:00 am

Whatever else may be said of Guy Vanderhaeghe, author of The English Boy, he does at least have one serious…

Composing for dear life

7 February 2004 12:00 am

Ever since the posthumous publication in 1979 of Testimony, his volume of memoirs, ‘as related to and edited by Solmon…

Snapshots of the city

7 February 2004 12:00 am

Six CDs, 75 minutes eachwww.csaword.co.uk Lying stock-still with a bandage over your eyes for several weeks has its bonuses. In…