The latest on books and the arts


In The Critics this week

David Cameron's student days, Patti Smith, and the return of our theatre critic.

Two things in particular make this a week to remember: one is the return of our theatre critic, Andrew Billen, who reviews Serenading Louie at the Donmar Warehouse; the other is the launch of our Young Music Critic competition, introduced with an exclusive essay on the future of arts criticism by Norman Lebrecht.

As part of this week's Tory special, David Cameron's former tutor Vernon Bogdanor reviews Tim Bales's new book, The Conservative Party: From Thatcher to Cameron.

Elsewhere, Jude Rogers reviews Patti Smith's memoir of her time with Robert Mapplethorpe and Robin Yassin-Kassab takes on Joshua Ferris's new novel, The Unnamed. And Ferris himself answers our questions in The Books Interview.

Plus, there are the usual columns from our award-winning critics: Rachel Cooke (on the BBC's latest US drama import, Damages), Antonia Quirke (on radio coverage of the Baftas), and Will Self (on the rise of the all-day breakfast). Ryan Gilbey is away this week, so Lisa Mullen reviews Michael Moore's latest film effort, Capitalism: a Love Story.

The issue is on sale now, or you can subscribe through the website.

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