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Category Archives: review

We were musketeers once, and young

Long, ‘lost’ sequel to The Three Musketeers, reviewed. – For The Spectator

Egyptomania

Review of three books on Ancient Egypt: Egypt: People, Pharaohs, Gods, by Rose-Marie and Rainer Hagen; Egyptomania: A History of Fascination, Obsession and Fantasy, by Ronald H. Fritze; and Writings from Ancient Egypt, by Toby Wilkinson. – For The Spectator

Heroes in error

Review of War Porn. – For The Spectator

Missing in action

Review of A Long Watch: War, Captivity and Return in Sri Lanka. – For The Spectator

Our foreign colleagues

Review of Tell Spring Not to Come This Year. – For The Spectator

‘Beyond describing’

A documentary about a documentary about the Holocaust – reviewed. – For The Spectator

Flak Jacket to Dust Jacket

Men at War: What Fiction Tells Us About Conflict, from The Iliad to Catch-22 By Christopher Coker (Hurst 325pp £25) My Life as a Foreign Country By Brian Turner (Jonathan Cape 240pp £16.99) Seamus Heaney once remarked upon the heroes of antiquity that it is ‘not so much their procedures on the page which are [...]

Eight debut novels

Currently sitting at 12 to 1 for this year’s Booker Prize, first-time novelist Paul Kingsnorth has set the cat among the pigeons through the disarmingly original expedient of submitting his offering in a fictional language. Composed in what Kingsnorth calls the ‘shadow tongue’ of ‘eald anglisc’, The Wake (Unbound 365pp £16.99) explores one angle of [...]

End of the Line

The Narrow Road to the Deep North By Richard Flanagan (Chatto & Windus 448pp £16.99) ‘We will die, and who will ever understand any of this?’ So asks Colonel Dorrigo Evans, second in command of the Australian Imperial Force’s 2/7th Casualty Clearing Station, slave worker on the Siam–Burma ‘Death Railway’, and redoubtable hero of Richard [...]

Feats of Klay

Redeployment By Phil Klay (Canongate, 291pp, £15) ‘Nobody wants to do a year in Iraq’, mutters one of the narrators in Phil Klay’s Redeployment, ‘and come back with nothing but stories about the soft-serve ice-cream machine at the embassy cafeteria.’ No kidding. And Klay (rhymes with ‘guy’) will not have been the first soldier, American [...]