Vauxhall, by Gabriel Ghadomosi; Sketcher, by Roland Watson-Grant - review

29 June 2013 9:00 am

At the grubbier end of my street in north London is the Somali mosque that was burned down earlier this…

An Englishman in Madrid, by Eduardo Mendoza - review

29 June 2013 9:00 am

To Spaniards, the English must appear a highly contradictory people. The stereotype of the restrained, well-dressed gentleman (Spain’s largest department…

The Professor of Poetry, by Grace McCleen - review

29 June 2013 9:00 am

Elizabeth Stone, English professor at UCL,  has long lived on ‘paper and words and thin air’. Single, friendless, dessicated, respected,…

Constance, by Patrick McGrath - review

22 June 2013 9:00 am

Patrimony and infidelity are defining themes of the Anglo-American relationship, as they are of Constance, a novel with alternating narrators:…


Bedford Park, by Bryan Appleyard - review

15 June 2013 9:00 am

Nothing in Bryan Appleyard’s Bedford Park betrays the fact that it is his first period novel: not its deft characterisations,…

The Dark Road, by Ma Jian - review

1 June 2013 9:00 am

If you are considering adopting — that is, buying — a Chinese baby girl, recycling a television or computer, or…

Whirligig, by Magnus Mcintyre - review

1 June 2013 9:00 am

I do not have much time for the idea of the redemptive power of the countryside. I am not alone…

Last Friends, by Jane Gardam - review

1 June 2013 9:00 am

Any writer who embarks on a trilogy is either extremely confident or taking something of a risk. The danger is…

They really were in love: Scott, Zelda and their daughter Frances (‘Scottie’) in Paris

Z, by Therese Anne Fowler, Beautiful Fools, by R. Clifton Spargo, Careless People, by Sarah Churchill - review

1 June 2013 9:00 am

The Great Gatsby is one of those great works of literature, like Pride and Prejudice, that appeals as much to…

All the Birds, Singing, by Evie Wyld - review

25 May 2013 9:00 am

Half in jest, Evie Wyld has described her highly garlanded first book After the Fire, a Still Small Voice as…

The Hive, by Gill Hornby - review

25 May 2013 9:00 am

Who would have thought that the idea for a novel about mothers at the school gate would spark a frenzied…

Crime fiction reviewed by Andrew Taylor

18 May 2013 9:00 am

An epigraph taken from Goebbels’s only published novel certainly makes a book stand out from the crowd. A Man Without…

Big Brother, by Lionel Shriver - review

18 May 2013 9:00 am

‘I am white rice’ states Pandora Half-danarson, narrator of Lionel Shriver’s obesity fable. ‘I have always existed to set off…


The not-so-great Gatsby

11 May 2013 9:00 am

The cult around Fitzgerald’s most overrated work feeds the illusions of upper-crust Americans

And the Mountain Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini - review

11 May 2013 9:00 am

The American comedian Stephen Colbert once joked that when he publicly criticised the novels of Khaled Hosseini, his front garden…

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Ghana Must Go, by Taiye Selasi - review

4 May 2013 9:00 am

Excitement over the extraterritorial birthplace of authors on Granta’s recent list of Britain’s best young novelists must have been old…

Portrait of Nikolai Leskov by Anatoly Lelako

The Enchanted Wanderer and Other Stories, by Nikolai Leskov - review

4 May 2013 9:00 am

Though underestimated in the English-speaking world, Nikolai Leskov is one of the greatest of 19th-century Russian writers. Donald Rayfield has…

A Delicate Truth, by John le Carré - review

4 May 2013 9:00 am

John Le Carré is one of a select group of novelists whose vivid and internally coherent imaginative worlds are so…

The Spoken Word: Short Stories, Volume II - review

4 May 2013 9:00 am

Largely unheard since their original performances or BBC broadcasts between 1939 and 2011, these readings of 12 short stories by…

'The Infatuations', by Javier Marías - review

9 March 2013 9:00 am

A café in Madrid. From her table across the room a solitary woman watches an attractive couple share breakfast morning…

The Childhood of Jesus', by J.M. Coetzee - review

9 March 2013 9:00 am

Stripping down prose is not a risk-free undertaking. The excision of adverbs and the passive voice is sound practice in…

'Mimi', by Lucy Ellmann - review

9 March 2013 9:00 am

Harrison Hanafan is a plastic surgeon in New York. Every day, he slices and stitches deluded women, reshaping healthy flesh…

Right thinking

2 June 2012 10:00 am

David Frum has spoken for American conservatism for a generation – now he despairs of it

Straying from the Way

26 May 2012 4:00 pm

No sensible writer wastes good material. A couple of years ago Tim Parks published a memoir, Teach Us to Sit…

Recent crime novels

26 May 2012 4:00 pm

William Brodrick’s crime novels have the great (and unusual) merit of being unlike anyone else’s, not least because his series…