Benjamin Disraeli.
Reviews Round-up
By Critic - 22 July 17:13

The critics' verdicts on Hurd and Young, Higashida and McCleen.

Two nurses aid an elderly patient.
Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet: Cowards, betrayers and appeasers have destroyed the NHS
By Richard Horton - 19 July 17:00

All three parties have colluded in the creation of ideal conditions for an unprecedented colonisation of the NHS by an aggressive, profit-seeking private sector. NHS SOS, a new book edited by Jacky Davis and Raymond Tallis, explains how it was done.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: An issues novel unashamedly open about its intentions
By Claire Lowdon - 19 July 15:15

Adichie's observations are always sharp, intelligent, humorous and humane. They show a radically defamiliarised version of western society, seen through African eyes.

Gladstone and MPs.
In the Critics this Week
By Joe Collin - 18 July 15:00

This week's books pages feature everything from Disraeli to walls, futuristic distopias to an autism memoir.

Mark Kennedy.
Undercover by Rob Evans and Paul Lewis: The best kind of argument for a free press
By Alan White - 18 July 14:00

If these stories about undercover police weren't plucked from the pages of our newspapers, you'd think you were reading an airport thriller. This sort of classic, long-form investigative journalism is why we must retain a truly free press.

The Sleep of Reason.
Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep by Jonathan Crary: Sleep is a standing affront to capitalism
By Steven Poole - 18 July 7:45

When hungry digital companies measure success in "eyeballs" is sleep the last remaining zone of dissidence, of anti-productivity and even of solidarity?

Victoria Barnsley.
Gail Rebuck and Victoria Barnsley: The dethroned queens of the publishing industry
By Liz Thomson - 18 July 7:00

It's just like when Thatcher was toppled - only nobody is cheering.

Susan Greenfield's 2121: the worst science fiction book ever written?
By Helen Lewis - 17 July 10:44

The neuroscientist's first novel has clunking cliches, terrible characters and dialogue about the "dissociation of reproduction from copulation". Finishing it has become a nerd challenge, writes Helen Lewis.

J K Rowling
Has J K Rowling betrayed women writers in her decision to publish as Robert Galbraith?
By Nichi Hodgson - 16 July 12:03

The unmasking of Rowling as the author of The Cuckoo's Calling and its subsequent meteoric success has demonstrated that celebrity trumps gender when it comes to book sales. But what about all the writers who will never achieve a fraction of Rowling's fam

Michael Chabon.
The Folio Prize announces its initial panel of judges
By Philip Maughan - 16 July 10:37

Pankaj Mishra, Nam Le, Sarah Hall and Michael Chabon were drawn at random from a one-hundred strong academy of writers and critics, who will nominate books for the prize. Lavinia Greenlaw will chair the panel.

Protesters against government healthcare reforms hold a mock funeral for the NHS
Reviews Round-up
By Critic - 15 July 17:23

The critics' verdicts on Raymond and Tallis, Bergner and Adichie.

The cover of The Cuckoo's Calling.
What did the critics really think of "Cuckoo's Calling" (before they knew it was by J K Rowling)?
By Joe Collin - 15 July 17:00

Actually, they liked it. Galbraith's Cormoran Strike thriller could mark the start of another intensely successful Rowling series.

Sales of "The Cuckoo's Calling" surge by 150,000% after JK Rowling revealed as author
By Alex Hern - 14 July 11:08

"Robert Galbraith" was critically acclaimed, but it takes Rowling to be commercially successful.

Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart.
An Atheist in the Foxhole by Joe Muto: A lot of fun at Fox News, but somewhat light on revelation
By Nicky Woolf - 11 July 8:59

Joe Muto, a self-described liberal and Obama supporter, joined Fox News in 2004. Nicky Woolf finds his insider exposé insightful, if a little underwhelming.

A man looking into a Manhattan shop window.
A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee: After frothiness comes leadenness
By Leo Robson - 11 July 8:53

Dee has followed his celebrated topical satire The Privileges with a double portrait that's tighter in focus and smaller in scale.

The Master and Margarita.
Diaries and Letters by Mikhail Bulgakov: I have rarely read the letters of an artist that were less intrinsically interesting
By Gabriel Josipovici - 11 July 8:35

Some great writers are also great letter-writers, others are not. Bulgakov's letters tell the story, or at least accompany the story, of the young writers journey to Moscow to the publication of The Master and Margarita.

Oliver Reed.
The Authorised Biography of Oliver Reed by Robert Sellers: Sadly and crushingly, most important was that he was an alcoholic
By Antonia Quirke - 11 July 8:29

The "Bill Sikes" actor turned down Spielberg, Polanski and even James Bond - why?

Nigerian literature is going from strength to strength
By James Evans - 09 July 15:00

Winner of the 2013 Caine Prize for African writing and four nominees all hail from Nigeria.

Iain Banks.
Iain Banks's clear-eyed unsentimentality is the reason I feel duty-bound to say The Quarry is a stinker
By Helen Lewis - 08 July 13:00

The Quarry comes across as something of a "greatest hits" - I wanted, desperately, for the book to be a final majestic flourish - his rightly deserved swan song. But it isn't. It's a stinker.

What happened to India’s economic miracle?
By William Dalrymple - 05 July 12:01

The elephant untethered.

A wolf behind a woman in a cave.
Jay Griffiths, George Monbiot, Sylvain Tesson and Philip Hoare: How pastoral writing is being redefined
By Jane Shilling - 04 July 16:00

You have to go back in time a long way to find pastoral writing that doesn't mourn the shrinking diversity in our wild places. The pastoral has given was to new "nature writers". If they were put in charge of the countryside, these islands would become a

Ann Widdecombe.
New memoirs by Alan Johnson and Ann Widdecombe: "Look, I'm like you, I'm human, I've lived!"
By Sophie Elmhirst - 04 July 15:00

Politicians create narrative from scant facts on a daily basis - it's part of the job. New memoirs from Johnson and Widdecombe offer an example of how-to (and how not-to) use this skill.

Milano Centrale.
Italian Ways by Tim Parks: In Italian train stations, the spirit of Kafka is at work
By Jasper Rees - 04 July 13:00

The author of a trilogy of studies on Italy, Tim Parks always keeps his ear to the ground, looking for the telltale nuance, the occluded revelation of national character.

A kookaburra.
All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld: A novel like crisply folded origami, intricate and well made
By Claire Lowdon - 04 July 12:00

Claire Lowdon on the humble and bold second novel from Granta's "Best Young British Novelist" Evie Wyld.

A painting of Chinese troops during WWII.
China's War with Japan 1937-45 by Rana Mitter: Fragments of other histories beginning to emerge
By Isabel Hilton - 04 July 11:36

The scale of suffering in China during the Second World War was unimaginable. Yet China did not submit, and it has only been since the 1980s that fragments of other histories have started to emerge.

Isaiah Berlin scrutinises a postcard.
Letters 1960-75 by Isaiah Berlin: Vast erudition, fluency and humanity, gossip, back-stabbing and name-dropping too
By David Herman - 03 July 9:00

Berlin's letters, superbly edited by Henry Hardy and Mark Pottle, encourage us to ask what is going to be remembered and what is going to fade: the work, or the personality?

Jimmy Connors.
Reviews round-up
By Critic - 02 July 14:30

The critics' verdicts on Jimmy Connors, Jonathan Sperber and Sarah Churchwell.

Jazz: the transformation from subversive expression to mainstream entertainment
By Sarah Churchwell - 27 June 9:41

Sarah Churchwell reviews <em>Jazz: New York in the Roaring Twenties</em> by Robert Nippoldt and Hans-Jürgen Schaal.

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