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In the Critics this week

Books of the year, Woman's Hour and Batman.

In this week's issue of the New Statesman, a range of contributors and friends of the magazine such as Robert Skidelsky, A D MIller, Ed Miliband, Melissa Benn and Rowan Williams, choose their favourite books of the year. A D Miller calls Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov "the most haunting fictional exploration of guilt I have read." Craig Raine finds Me Cheeta: the Autobiography by James Lever to be "relentlessly funy, bracingly cynical, written with the biro of Nabokov." Margaret Drabble is astonished by Memoirs of a Dervish: Sufis, Mystics and the Sixties by the Arabist scholar Robert Irwin: "it's a wild, uncomfortable tale and I'm amazed he survived to tell it."

Elsewhere, Ryan Gilbey reviews Justin Kurzel's Snowtown, a haunting tale of a serial killer, Rachel Cooke is struck by the oddness of BBC2's Pam Am and Andrew Billen praises the best production of Hamlet he has seen. Plus: Antonia Quirke on Woman's Hour, Helen Lewis-Hasteley reviews Batman: Arkham City, Will Self's Real Meals and a poem by Rachael Boast.

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