Simon Baker

Author Anthony Horowitz

While Holmes is away

Careful Sherlockians, on returning in adulthood to the four novels and 56 short stories that they devoured uncritically in their…


The gambler’s daily grind

Lord Doyle is a shrivelled English gambler frittering away his money and destroying his liver in the casinos of Macau.…

Military personnel remove bags containing bodies of members of the Jim Jones' sect "Temple of people". More than 900 people died Photo: Getty

Madness and massacre in the jungle

In his new novel, Children of Paradise, Fred D’Aguiar, a British-Guyanese writer, returns to the Jonestown massacre, previously the subject…

Arming for conquest (Picture: John Bostock)

A creepy father, a lustful music teacher, four virgins — and one genuine love affair

London, 1794. It’s a different world from that portrayed by the Mrs Radcliffes and Anons of the time: rich young…

Black Sheep 2

Village life can be gripping

Black Sheep opens biblically, with a mining village named Mount of Zeal, which is ‘built in a bowl like an…


Novel ways of writing

If you consider ‘gripping metafiction’ a self-contradictory phrase (surely metafiction disables tension through its wink-at-the-audience style?), Nicholas Royle’s First Novel…

Friendships resurrected

A fact which often surprises those who pick up the Bible in adulthood, having not looked at it for years, is how very short the stories are.

The man who came to dinner

Each year Genevieve Lee holds an ‘alternative’ dinner party, to which she invites, along with her friends, a couple of people she wouldn’t ordinarily mix with — a Muslim, say, or homosexual.


BOOKENDS: In the bleak midwinter

Salley Vickers name-checks (surely unwisely) the granddaddy of all short stories, James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’, in the foreword to her first collection, Aphrodite’s Hat (Fourth Estate, £16.99).


The loneliness of the long distance salesman

If only E. M. Forster hadn’t beaten him to it by exactly a century, Jonathan Coe could have coined the enigmatic phrase ‘only connect’ in this novel.


Anything for a quiet life

Jim, Crace’s latest novel, All That Follows, marks a deliberate change from past form.

Just the bare bones

It is impossible (as I prove in this sentence) to review Philip Roth without mentioning the surge of creativity that began when the author was around 60 and which now sees him publishing a novel every year (his next one, Nemesis, is already finished).

The ex factor

At first, the plot of Nick Hornby’s new novel, Juliet, Naked, seems too close to that of his first novel, High Fidelity (1995).

Past imperfect

We Are All Made of Glue, by Marina Lewycka
The Rehearsal, by Eleanor Catton
Yalo, by Elias Khory, translated by Humphrey Davies

One out of five

Nocturnes, by Kazuo Ishiguro

Dark fantasies

Rhyming Life and Death, by Amos Oz

A choice of first novels

A Fraction of the Whole, by Steve Toltz
Pollard, by Laura Beatty Chatto & Windus
Inside the Whale, by Jennie Rooney Chatto & Windus
Slaughterhouse Heart, by Afsaneh Knight Doubleday

A furious, frazzled youth

Indignation, by Philip Roth

Deceit and dilemma

Simon Baker reviews a collection of short stories by Tobias Wolff 

Another tragic Russian heroine

A review of Simon Montefiore's novel

The travels of an idealist

Simon Baker reviews Andreï Makine’s latest novel

A boy’s own world

Simon Baker reviews the new novel from Adam Mars-Jones

The magic lingers on

At the beginning of Salman Rushdie’s new novel a charismatic Florentine rogue arrives at the Mughal court and claims to have a story which he must tell to the Emperor, Akbar the Great, who, he insists, is his nephew.

Sounds of the Seventies

Simon Baker on Philip Hensher's new book

No getting away from it

Simon Baker on Julian Barnes' new book