More from Books

An unlikely bestseller

2666, by Roberto Bolaño Not every writer would write a novel in the form of a completely invented encyclopaedia of imaginary writers and call the result Nazi Literature in the Americas. Not everyone, either, would write a novel in two paragraphs, the second less than 12 words long, or produce a novel about a torturer-poet

Horses decline, dogs advance

The Dog: 5000 Years of the Dog in Art, by Tamsin Pickeral Dogs: History, Myth, Art, by Catherine Johns The Horse: A Celebration of Horses in Art, by Rachel and Simon Barnes These three books are concerned with the representation in art of man’s most successfully domesticated wild animals,: the dog and the horse. Dogs,

The unselfish gene

On Kindness, by Adam Phillips and Barbara Taylor Whenever I say to someone that I do not believe that there is a universal human right to healthcare, that person always asks whether, then, I want to see people dying in the street from treatable disease. I in turn ask that person whether he can think

On the run in the Rockies

The Outlander, by Gil Adamson The Outlander, a strikingly good first novel by the Canadian poet Gil Adamson, is a drama of extremity and isolation set in the Rocky Mountains of Canada in the early 1900s. Much of it reads like a pastiche Western with elements of supernatural grotesquerie out of Stephen King or even

Arthur at Camelot

Journals: 1952-2000, by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr, edited by Andrew Schlesinger and Stephen Schlesinger Before sitting down with this hefty doorstopper of a diary, first ask yourself whether you agree — or can imagine yourself agreeing — with the entry Arthur Schlesinger, Jr made on 27 March 1950: ‘I adore sitting around hotel rooms with politicians

His own best biographer

Byron in Love, by Edna O’Brien ‘We would entreat him to believe that a certain portion of liveliness, somewhat of fancy, is necessary to constitute a poem,’ wrote Henry Brougham in the Edinburgh Review, when the young Byron was unwise enough to expose his first, dismal book of juvenilia to the gaze of ‘Citizen Mob’,