Morality tales

18 June 2011 12:00 am

Francis King celebrates Margaret Drabble’s distinguished career and vividly recalls their first meeting

Feeling pleasantly uncomfortable

4 December 2010 12:00 am

It is rare for stories to be specially commissioned for an audio book, but as Maxim Jakubowski, the editor of The Sounds of Crime tells us in a pre-thrill talk, he ‘begged’ the five writers he considered to be the best in their field to produce a new story for this collection; and ‘happily for me,’ he tells us, ‘they all agreed.’ Jakubowski’s introduction evokes those black-and-white days when Alfred Hitchcock shuffled on to millions of walnut-encased television sets to present us with half an hour of spine-tingling tension — very much as we have with each of the stories here.

Two legs good

27 November 2010 12:00 am

In September 1954, Albert Speer decided to walk from Berlin to Heidelberg, a distance of 620 kilometres.


Laughter from the Gallery

30 October 2010 12:00 am

This is an amiable book. The parliamentary sketchwriter Simon Hoggart, also the wine correspondent of this magazine, for which he drinks as selflessly as Zorba the Greek, has set out to record anecdotes that have amused and appalled him in the course of his long professional life.