Books

The high price of civil security

1 February 2003 12:00 am

Hobbes is one of the very greatest political philosophers of all times, Noel Malcolm one of his most highly esteemed…

Defying vertigo and the void

1 February 2003 12:00 am

It is lucky for us common mortals that Philippe Petit is a tightrope-walker who can write. Blondin, the funambule of…

Recent crime novels

1 February 2003 12:00 am

For the last few years Ruth Rendell has used her Chief Inspector Wexford detective novels to explore social issues that…

Lost, stolen or strayed

25 January 2003 12:00 am

This is a strange, tantalising book of unintentional poetry; it is rather like a book plucked from the shelves of…

Tunes of vanishing glory

25 January 2003 12:00 am

Just as Gustav Mahler wove a bugle fanfare into his symphonies, so Joseph Roth wove martial music into his novels.…

The lure of the jungle

25 January 2003 12:00 am

This is a curious story. In 1886, a year after the final British conquest of Upper Burma, a piano-tuner, Edgar…

In America we trust

25 January 2003 12:00 am

Bill Emmott, the editor of the Economist and author of The Sun Also Sets which accurately predicted the decline of…

The usual Soho suspects

25 January 2003 12:00 am

When John Moynihan was three and living with his painter parents in a flat off Primrose Hill he used to…

Learning the hard way

25 January 2003 12:00 am

Joyce Carol Oates is a prolific, even prolix writer, with more than 50 novels and short-story collections to her name.…

Classics in the classroom

25 January 2003 12:00 am

There comes a time when all professors of literature think of writing a book like this. Elaine Showalter has been…

The Paraguayan way

25 January 2003 12:00 am

John Gimlette and I both won this magazine’s Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize (awarded for unconventional travel writing) and we both…

The triumph of outrage

25 January 2003 12:00 am

In this book Russell Martin seeks to explain to the common reader how Picasso’s largest canvas, measuring 11′ 6” high…

Blair’s lack of ‘process’

18 January 2003 12:00 am

What is really wrong with the Blair government? The unease it excites is at least as strong on the articulate…

Going with the wind

18 January 2003 12:00 am

It is rare for a first novel to be launched with the degree of enthusiasm that Fourth Estate have bestowed…

A young explorer of horror

18 January 2003 12:00 am

How many people have heard of Michael Reeves? Most biographies are written about famous people or people who hobnob with…

Education via the gymnasium

18 January 2003 12:00 am

Sven Lindqvist used to be a fairly flabby intellectual Swede with a natural disclination to engage in any kind of…

Recent first novels

18 January 2003 12:00 am

I selected Overnight to Innsbruck by Denyse Woods by chance from the reviewing shelf and discovered a real treat of…

Keeping one’s head above water in Venice

18 January 2003 12:00 am

I have an unusually vivid recollection of the first time I met John Hall. I went to his flat in…

To fame by leaps and bounds

11 January 2003 12:00 am

Here is an astonishing book. It is a biography of Rudolph Nureyev written as a piece of fiction, but it…

The third man

11 January 2003 12:00 am

In the 1840s and 50s, Douglas Jerrold, Dickens and Thackeray were the three best known literary men in England, and…

An early lead lost

11 January 2003 12:00 am

In 1926 Simon Marks, head of a little-known chain of penny bazaars called Marks & Spencer, placed an order for…

High prairie, low life

4 January 2003 12:00 am

Annie Proulx’s latest work is a strange hybrid. It is more a series of short stories than a novel; and…

Alpha minus query

4 January 2003 12:00 am

VOLUME I: THE MODERN MOVEMENT VOLUME TWO: THE TWO NATURESwith a foreword by William Boyd As a formula for failure,…

A monkey puzzle of a family tree

4 January 2003 12:00 am

Michael Kr

When conscience is a doubtful guide

4 January 2003 12:00 am

In the summer, I met a man who made his living by selling computer hardware he found discarded around London’s…