Peter Bradshaw

The mystery of Werner Herzog

Many movie actors are famous for their unmistakable voices – people like Sean Connery, John Wayne and Peter Lorre, who all pub comedians mimic. But how many directors are like that? Only one: the German auteur Werner Herzog, hero of the New German Cinema, who at the age of 81 has published this headspinning, free-associating

Moments of absurdity

The bestselling humourist and New Yorker essayist David Sedaris is renowned for an almost hypnotic deadpan drollery and maybe especially for The Santaland Diaries, his uproarious account of earning part-time cash as a department store Christmas elf. Now he is bringing out an edited version of his personal diaries. It’s the first volume of two,

Desperate liaison

Six years ago, the Canadian author Clancy Martin made a splash with his autobiographical novel How to Sell, based on the hard-drinking years he spent as a jewellery salesman before going to college and beginning the brilliant academic career he currently enjoys as a philosopher. Now he has come up with a weird, densely focused

Pride, prejudice, celebrity…

Curtis Sittenfeld’s novel Eligible is a page-turning romantic comedy which is very funny and entirely ridiculous: each of the short chapters is as unwholesomely addictive as a Pringle coated in crack cocaine. It’s clearly influenced by writers like Tina Fey, Nora Ephron and Nancy Meyers. But that isn’t the point. Because with a certain punky