Books

Great helmsman or mad wrecker

19 October 2002 12:00 am

KOBA THE DREAD: LAUGHTER AND TWENTY MILLIONby Martin AmisCape, £16.99, pp. 306, ISBN 0224063030 Eric Hobsbawm is arguably our greatest…

Justice changing gear to keep up

19 October 2002 12:00 am

Fifty-one years ago no one would have written this book, and, if someone had, no one would have read it.…

Master and mistress of ambiguity

19 October 2002 12:00 am

Charlotte Bach was unusual even in those who stood by her: Don Smith, a gay sado-masochist with whom she was…

The spider spied ‘er

19 October 2002 12:00 am

Sarah Waters is a rarity – an up and coming writer in this age of hype who actually deserves the…

Light from eastern windows

19 October 2002 12:00 am

If the popular idea of the men who founded the British Raj as a lot of brutish pig-stickers and greedy…

Nasty questions that need asking

19 October 2002 12:00 am

Prominent in any contemporary dictionary of received opinion should be the assumption that all terrorism has ‘root causes’ that render…

History from below

19 October 2002 12:00 am

Professor Linda Colley is a distinguished historian. In her Britons, published in 1992, she proved that good, imaginative professional history…

Coming from the wars of words

19 October 2002 12:00 am

It was 1971, at the Dudley Hotel, Hove, late at night during a Tory conference, and Sir (as he then…

From Chaucer to Channel Four

12 October 2002 12:00 am

‘Everything of value in our spiritual and cultural life springs from our soil.’ Thus spake Vaughan Williams; and Peter Ackroyd…

The wrong label that stuck

12 October 2002 12:00 am

A young writer produced a brilliant novel that attacked religious fundamentalism, rubbished the press, found politics corrupt and the members…

Girls will be girls

12 October 2002 12:00 am

You’ll have noticed them on the roads, minibuses, full of schoolgirls, being driven by harassed teachers to some country location…

Trees with personality

12 October 2002 12:00 am

The English have loved ancient trees for centuries, have celebrated them in story and poetry, have given them names, sung…

A very African story

12 October 2002 12:00 am

The voices we rarely hear in literature are those of the children of the men and women who have shaped…

A window on the world

12 October 2002 12:00 am

It is two years since Panorama was shunted out of peak time on BBC1 into exile late on Sunday night.…

A whodunnit below zero

12 October 2002 12:00 am

The more one reads about polar exploration in previous centuries, the more one comes to the conclusion that men were…

Sins against theology and haberdashery

12 October 2002 12:00 am

From the time I was a little girl, long before I knew I wanted to be a writer, I had…

Third time unlucky

5 October 2002 12:00 am

£14.99 for individual volumes The single problem facing any translator of Proust is that there is, really, no equivalent of…

Tales of the expected unexpected

5 October 2002 12:00 am

‘Bold, glamorous, sexy, unrepentant,’ promises the jacket. The heroines of Fay Weldon’s short stories ‘offer a quite unique view of…

The organisation man

5 October 2002 12:00 am

In 1743, 393 livings within the gift of the Archbishop of York were occupied by clergymen who did not live…

Mastery of time and space

5 October 2002 12:00 am

Even Churchill might have been discouraged had he, instead of Lord Portland, been prime minister and surveying the scene in…

A poet under strict controls

5 October 2002 12:00 am

This vast work has the distinction of being both unreadable and unputdownable. It consists of nearly half a million words,…

Putting it all in

5 October 2002 12:00 am

Not for nothing has Jeffrey Eugenides, on the strength of just one novel published seven years ago, been cropping up…

Driving on a dark night

5 October 2002 12:00 am

Ken Nott is the most annoying man in England. It’s his job (he’s a shock jock, a prime-time talk-radio DJ),…

The Orwell of Notting Hill

5 October 2002 12:00 am

Roy Kerridge is conservative in attitude, he loves the works of Kipling and he enjoys the company of those whom…

Climbing among the skyscrapers

5 October 2002 12:00 am

According to Ward McAllister, the fabled gate-keeper of New York high society in the 1890s, to be counted among the…