Damon galgut

I’ve been bitten by the TikTok bug

In theory TikTok knows nothing about me. I have posted two videos: one of my grandsons kicking a football in a garden, the other of their much younger selves running through the dry desert house at Paignton zoo. They are the most unremarkable clips imaginable. The last time I looked, the football being kicked in the garden had been watched 3,700 times and ‘liked’ by 650 people. Astonishing. Apart from those two videos, I haven’t posted. My grandsons love TikTok. They are on it every day. They post videos of football cards they have collected and the ones they want to swap. Except when my grandsons post one, I never

Another haphazard Booker shortlist lacks literary competence

The Booker used to be more enthusiastic about the historical novel than it now is. Maggie Shipstead’s Great Circle (Doubleday, £16.99) is about an imagined woman pilot who makes her way in the first years of aviation and is thought to have died in a daring feat of navigation from Pole to Pole in 1950. It’s an enjoy-able example of a genre that was popular in the 1990s: the historical novel interspersed with a present-day story — this one about a film star who has made a PR mess, loses her role in a series of teen movies and tries for redemption through a film about the aviator. The best