Book review – reportage

Mohammed Kabir, aged 105, in a garden he created in the courtyard of the ruined Darulaman Palace in Kabul for the soldiers stationed there

Bombs and begonias: gardening in a war zone

15 September 2018 9:00 am

During the civil war in Afghanistan in the late 1980s, Mr and Mrs Roami, a science professor and a nurse,…

Texas: the myriad contradictions of the Lone Star state

21 April 2018 9:00 am

Texas is beautiful, barren, corrupt, honourable, a red state with a blue majority. Michael Moorcock enjoys the startling contradictions

Why do the Japanese despise sex?

7 April 2018 9:00 am

There are two sorts of people: those who can’t wait to grow up, and those who wish they never had…

The modern Behemoth, smiting a few mortals for the sake of the many

Think of five things you use daily that weren’t made in a factory

31 March 2018 8:00 am

Industrial factories huddle at the very edge of our world view. Most of us have never visited one, but we…

Still waters run deep in Keflavik, where Geirfinnur Einarsson vanished in November 1974

False confessions to murder in 1970s Iceland

31 March 2018 8:00 am

Everyone in Iceland has heard of Gudmunder and Geirfinnur. They were two (unrelated) men who disappeared in 1974, albeit ten…

The murderer who got away – and the woman who died in pursuit

24 March 2018 9:00 am

This true-crime narrative ought, by rights, to be broken backed, in two tragic ways. One is that the serial attacker…

The Bob Baker trails the Thunder through six-metre swells

Today’s pirate gold is the Patagonian toothfish

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Philip Hoare describes a thrilling game of cat and mouse through the storms and drift ice of the high seas off Antarctica

Coffee and khat vie for cultivation in Yemen

Risking all for the perfect mocha coffee

3 February 2018 9:00 am

‘This guy’s crazy,’ says a taxi driver, listening to a BBC interview with a man who has decided to become…

A provincial library is pure Alan Bennett territory

25 February 2017 9:00 am

This book kept reminding me of Robin Williams in One Hour Photo. Just as his character spied on customers’ private…

Murder in the blue lagoon

6 August 2016 9:00 am

Cher Hughes loved the beauty, the white sand beaches and sun-kissed climate of the tropical islands of Bocas del Toro…

Marina Litvinenko: a tireless campaigner for justice for her late husband

The Litvinenko case: Mayfair murder most foul

26 March 2016 9:00 am

On 1 November 2006 Alexander Litvinenko, ex-KGB officer and by then a British citizen, met two of his former colleagues,…

Ben Judah feels like a stranger in his native London

6 February 2016 9:00 am

‘I was born in London,’ Ben Judah tells us early in this vivid portrait of Britain’s capital, ‘but I no…

Egypt on its knees: Friday prayers in Tahrir Square

For Egypt, a bitter winter has followed the Arab spring

30 January 2016 9:00 am

Jack Shenker is a throwback to an older, more romantic age when foreign correspondents were angry, partisan and half-crazed with…

Rodolfo González Alcántara is lord of the dance

9 January 2016 9:00 am

‘Anything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough,’ said Gustave Flaubert. He might have been talking about this…

Graffiti outside the American University of Cairo reads ‘Revolution’ (December 2011)

The revolution that went up in smoke

22 August 2015 9:00 am

‘Every day’, writes the foreign correspondent Wendell Steavenson in this account of the 2011 Egyptian revolution, ‘see-sawed between joy and…

The Anonymous ghost in the machine

22 November 2014 9:00 am

Why would you send an anthropologist — as this book’s author, Gabriella Coleman, is — to study Anonymous, the indescribable…

From working-class heroes to Disney World mascots: the sad fate of the Chilean miners

18 October 2014 9:00 am

On 5 August 2010, 33 men entered the remote San José mine in Chile’s Atacama desert to begin their 12-hour…

Did Hurricane Katrina have an angel of mercy — or an angel of death? 

15 February 2014 9:00 am

On 28 August 2005 — Sheri Fink’s Day One — Hurricane Katrina reached New Orleans. The National Weather Service warned…

In the heart of darkness, the atom bomb

23 November 2013 9:00 am

At the dark heart of this dark book is a startling fact: Joseph Conrad was employed to steam up the…