The problems of being a Bee Gee

For quite some time, the prospect of death has held a fresh terror. The British Heart Foundation’s step-by-step guide to cardiopulmonary resuscitation advises performing chest compressions ‘to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees’. This means that the last sound some of us will ever hear is ‘Stayin’ Alive’, with our chests as the drums: Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive!Ah! ah! ah! ah!Stayin’ alive! Stayin’ alive! Despite their success, the Bee Gees have always been regarded as naff. They are to pop music what Fanny Cradock was to cookery or Julian Fellowes is to the world of letters. Bob Stanley is

Portrait of a domestic tyrant: The Exhibitionist, by Charlotte Mendelson, reviewed

If vivid, drily hilarious tales about messy families stuffed with passive aggression and seething resentment are your thing, you will gleefully hoover up Charlotte Mendelson’s riotous, prize-winning novels. These buzzing sagas dissect dysfunctional relationships with spiky wit and remarkable acuity. The Exhibitionist is as good as any of her previous books. Ray Hanrahan is a failed artist who once glimpsed mild critical approbation before lapsing into obscurity. He’s also a comically monstrous anti-hero: narcissistic, abusive, controlling, dishonest and a hypochondriac. He has quashed his talented sculptor wife Lucia’s career with guilt- tripping and spurious claims of plagiarism. She is so cowed by his bullying that she jumps to his every