Fiction

A Weekend in New York, by Benjamin Markovits, reviewed

30 June 2018 9:00 am

I wrote foul-mouthed marginalia throughout Benjamin Markovits’s A Weekend in New York. Not because Markovits is a bad writer —…

Less, by Andrew Sean Greer, reviewed

30 June 2018 9:00 am

For someone who is only 47 and has won a Pulitzer Prize, Andrew Sean Greer certainly knows how to get…

A love letter to the short story

30 June 2018 9:00 am

On a recent Guardian podcast, Chris Power — who has written a short story column in the Guardian for a…

Rock and Roll is Life: The True Story of the Helium Kids by One Who Was There: A Novel, by D.J. Taylor, reviewed

16 June 2018 9:00 am

The narrator-protagonist of D.J. Taylor’s new novel, a mild-mannered Oxford graduate named Nick Du Pont, has resisted the lure of…

The Shape of the Ruins, by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, reviewed

16 June 2018 9:00 am

What makes Colombia remind me of Ireland? It’s not only the soft rain that falls from grey skies on the…

Happy Little Bluebirds, by Louise Levene, reviewed

16 June 2018 9:00 am

In 1940, the British Security Coordination sent an agent with an assistant to a Hollywood film studio to help promote…

William Trevor, photographed in 1993

The wilder shores of excess in William Trevor’s fiction

19 May 2018 9:00 am

Many of William Trevor’s best characters defy social conventions. Breaking the rules of behaviour is a recurring theme in his superbly crafted short stories, says Philip Hensher

Zen tales and flights of fancy: Patient X reviewed

5 May 2018 9:00 am

The target audience for David Peace’s new novel appears almost defiantly niche. Certainly, any readers in the embarrassing position of…

Root and branch: Richard Powers is determined to save the world’s trees

5 May 2018 9:00 am

This is a novel about trees, written in the shape of a tree (eight introductory background chapters, called ‘Roots’; a…

A Book of Chocolate Saints: an Indian novel like no other

24 March 2018 9:00 am

The Indian poet Jeet Thayil’s first novel, Narcopolis, charted a two-decade-long descent into the underworlds of Mumbai and addiction. One…

The Adulterants: a caustic take on London’s brutal property market

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Often a blurb exaggerates, but rarely does it fundamentally misrepresent (unless it contains the words ‘In the tradition of…’). The…

The body count piles up in Mick Herron’s London Rules

24 February 2018 9:00 am

The well-written spy novel is not a hotly contested field. Le Carré, Fleming, Deighton, a few Greenes, and that’s largely…

The thrill of living dangerously inspires the latest first novels

13 January 2018 9:00 am

Here come three novels marketed as debuts but written by authors with some sort of previous, be it in short…

Peter Carey’s latest novel is a merciless excavation of Australian history

13 January 2018 9:00 am

More than 25 years ago, Peter Carey co-wrote one of the most audacious road movies ever made, Wim Wenders’s Until…

The short, reckless life of Andrea Dunbar

9 December 2017 9:00 am

In her debut novel, Adelle Stripe recounts the brief, defiant life of the playwright Andrea Dunbar. Dunbar was raised on…

Jesmyn Ward sees dead people

9 December 2017 9:00 am

The events of this book take place where the world of the living and the world of the dead rub…

Naples drowns in deluge and corruption

2 December 2017 9:00 am

There are nods to dark masters in Malacqua — undercurrents of Kafka, a drumbeat of Beckett — but Nicola Pugliese’s…

Sisters under the skin: Han Kang’s The White Book reviewed

2 December 2017 9:00 am

Before the narrator of The White Book is born, her mother has another child; two months premature, the baby dies…

Has Paul Theroux finally lost it?

2 December 2017 9:00 am

As I ploughed through this semi-autobiographical behemoth about an author and travel writer obsessed with his siblings and mother, I…

On the run with Martin Luther King’s assassin

2 December 2017 9:00 am

This newly translated novel by the Spanish writer Antonio Muñoz Molina is really two books, spliced together in alternating chapters.…

Ali Smith’s Winter is calm, cool and consoling

4 November 2017 9:00 am

In 1939, Barbara Hepworth gathered her children and her chisels and fled Hampstead for Cornwall. She expected war to challenge…

In thrall to the Mob on Manhattan Beach

14 October 2017 9:00 am

Much has been made of the American novelist Jennifer Egan’s mutation, in her latest novel, from purveyor of metafiction and…

Dinner at the Centre of the Earth: a tragicomic Middle East spy romp

14 October 2017 9:00 am

I first heard of this tragicomic spy romp around Israel and Palestine when Julian Barnes sang its praises in the…

Alan Hollinghurst’s new novel is dazzling – and just like all his others

14 October 2017 9:00 am

If you think you know what to expect from an Alan Hollinghurst novel, then when it comes to The Sparsholt…

Nicola Lagioia puts the boot into modern Italy

14 October 2017 9:00 am

A young woman, naked and covered in blood, totters numbly down a night road. A driver spots her in his…