Andrew McKie

Wine tasting in 19th-century Austria

Not a barrel of laughs: a history of hogsheads, kegs and puncheons

6 December 2014 9:00 am

Few people, perhaps, will immediately seize on this title as just the thing for a relative’s Christmas, even if their…

Homage to the Sage of Shepperton

13 October 2012 9:00 am

L’Arénas, between Côte d’Azur airport and a dual carriageway patrolled by prostitutes, is a banal stretch of concrete, steel and…

S is for Speculative

3 December 2011 10:00 am

Margaret Atwood has written 20 novels, of which three (The Handmaid’s Tale, Oryx and Crake and The Year of the…


A right song and dance

18 December 2010 12:00 am

The first Broadway musical that I saw, a quarter of a century ago, actually on Broadway, wasn’t, of course, actually on Broadway; it was on West 44th Street.


Almost everything came up roses

16 October 2010 12:00 am

There’s a number in Merrily We Roll Along called ‘Opening Doors’, in which two young songwriters audition for a producer who interrupts: ‘That’s great! That’s swell!/ The other stuff as well!/ It isn’t every day I hear a score this strong,/ But fellas, if I may,/ There’s only one thing wrong:/ There’s not a tune you can hum.’ Urging them to be ‘less avant-garde’, he exits, asking for a ‘plain old melodee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee’ — sung (inaccurately) to the tune of ‘Some Enchanted Evening’.


Architect of cool

11 September 2010 12:00 am

More than quarter of a century later, 1984 remains firmly fixed in the future, fiction having provided a more vivid view than our memories of the year which actually happened.


Strictness and susceptibility

20 January 2010 12:00 am

William Trevor’s collected short stories were published in 1992 and brought together seven collections.

Life of a cave dweller

26 August 2009 12:00 am

Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King, by Lisa Rogak

Unseeing is believing

17 June 2009 12:00 am

The City & The City, by China Miéville


The wide blue yonder

11 March 2009 12:00 am

Toby Litt begins the titles of his books with consecutive letters of the alphabet and takes delight in shifting style and genre.