Book review – memoir

The dying fall of the Fells

9 January 2016 9:00 am

At some point during your reading of this book the realisation might dawn, if you didn’t already know about his…

The art of getting busted

9 January 2016 9:00 am

The Art of Smuggling comes garlanded with fraternal encomia from Howard ‘Mr Nice’ Marks, Phil Sparrowhawk (author of Grass) and…

David Pryce-Jones settles old scores

2 January 2016 9:00 am

The geological title of this unhappy memoir is an apt metaphor for fissures in the relationships between individuals of David…

Oliver Sacks bids farewell in style

12 December 2015 9:00 am

‘I cannot say there is no vanity in making this funeral oration of myself, but I hope it is not…

Chrissie Hynde writes like an angel on angel dust

12 December 2015 9:00 am

‘The day I found out that Suzi Quatro wasn’t a dyke was the worst day of my life!’ a teenage…

From Adrian Gill to A.A. Gill — with love and thanks

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Often, Christmas is a time for moaning after the night before, when the seasonal drinking is remembered (if remembered at…

The smoking diary of Gregor Hens

12 December 2015 9:00 am

The link between smoking and self-expression is long-established. The only thing worse than not being able to smoke, says Will…

Cycling is about much more than winning — and David Millar’s The Racer is quite a ride

14 November 2015 9:00 am

In 2004, French police officers searching the home of the professional cyclist David Millar found some syringes and empty phials…

Where would America be without Gloria Steinem?, asks Carmen Callil

7 November 2015 9:00 am

This is a book written by a most admirable woman, which is nevertheless — with some rare and excellent exceptions…

Warning: this book only contains strong language

7 November 2015 9:00 am

Dan Marshall, the author of this memoir, loves to swear. ‘It’s very difficult for me to write a sentence without…

White glazed bowl, Shunzhi-Kangxi period, Qing dynasty, 1650–70

The perils of porcelain – and the pleasures of Edmund de Waal

19 September 2015 8:00 am

A.S. Byatt on the dark, deadly secrets lurking beneath a calm, white surface

The trials of living with a High Court judge

29 August 2015 9:00 am

This intensely written memoir by Adam Mars-Jones about his Welsh father, Sir William, opens with the death of Sheila, Adam’s…

Harry’s Homer — a humorous history

25 July 2015 9:00 am

It was a certain unforgettable ex-girlfriend, Harry Mount confesses — named only as ‘S’ in his dedication — who came…

Rich, thin and selfish in Manhattan

18 July 2015 9:00 am

The scene: a funeral parlour in New York. Doors clang as a family relative, the ‘black sheep’, saunters in halfway…

Trials of the century: sex, sodomy, espionage, theft and fraud

27 June 2015 9:00 am

Jeremy Hutchinson was the doyen of the criminal bar in the 1960s and 1970s. No Old Bailey hack or parvenu…

Iain Sinclair

Iain Sinclair and me — Michael Moorcock meets his semi-mythical version

20 June 2015 9:00 am

In the late 1980s Peter Ackroyd invited me to meet Iain Sinclair, whose first novel, White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings, I…

It’s amazing how many different subjects Sir Thomas Browne’s latest biographer doesn’t care about

20 June 2015 9:00 am

On the evening of 10 March 1804, Samuel Taylor Coleridge settled at a desk in an effort to articulate what…

The ‘art’ of stealing presented as English heritage

13 June 2015 9:00 am

The publicity blurb about the two unpleasant criminals whom this dismal book romanticises says that they are ‘continuing their ancestors’…

Roger Federer helped me through my nervous breakdown, says William Skidelsky

13 June 2015 9:00 am

Good writing about sport is rare — and good writing about tennis is that much rarer — so it’s conspicuous…

To Land’s End and beyond: footsore but bravely coasting along

30 May 2015 9:00 am

It’s a real skill, writing about a journey where nothing ever happens. We shouldn’t be surprised that Simon Armitage is…

By, with, of and for Kim Kardashian — keeping up with Kulture

30 May 2015 9:00 am

The almond eyes that rise towards their outer edges. The cheekbones that curve down to the corners of those upholstered…

A singer’s joys and woes: like her heroine Dusty Springfield, Tracey Thorn has trouble coming to terms with her beautiful voice

16 May 2015 9:00 am

Look up Tracey Thorn’s live performances with Everything But The Girl or Massive Attack on You Tube and you’ll find…

The New Yorker’s grammar rules (and how to break them)

16 May 2015 9:00 am

‘I had had a fantasy for years about owning a dairy farm,’ says Mary Norris, as she considers her career…

Gyalo Thondup (right) pictured with the Dalai Lama on their arrival in India in 1959

From diplomacy to disillusion with the Dalai Lama’s big brother

18 April 2015 9:00 am

Can there ever have been another book in which one of the authors (Anne Thurston in this case) so effectively…

Dreaming of a golden future: there will always be people willing to sacrifice all in the pursuit of gold

11 April 2015 9:00 am

In 2008, the price of gold lofted above $1,000 an ounce for the first time in history, inspiring a rush…