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Forty-one False Starts

The essays themselves are Malcolm’s art.

Lost for Words

Comic novels are hard to pull off, and line for line in this one there's more wit and fizz and linguistic playfulness than in almost any other contemporary novel I can think of.

Every Day Is for the Thief: Fiction

Every Day Is for the Thief is direct and bracing, a short, sharp counterpunch to those who seek to romanticise Africa.

The Year of Reading Dangerously

The books saved his life but put his livelihood at risk; nevertheless his gratuitous act turns out to be triumphantly justified.

The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State

Porous borders, sprawling multinationals, digital communications and growing cross-border trade and travel have greatly reduced the capacity of governments to provide for the security of their citizens. There is the real challenge of the age.

Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst

Becoming Freud offers more than enough proof that Phillips is the ideal author of a book about Freud – and also that biography is at once too speculative and too limiting a form for that book to take.

The Supermodel and the Brillo Box

Although lively, enthusiastic, opinionated and fun to read, it sometimes suffers from an over-exuberance towards the facts, failing to distinguish between actuality and supposition.

The Secret World of Oil

Silverstein has shone a bright light on some of the industry’s darkest secrets and revealed the moral dangers inherent in our addiction to oil.

Never Love a Gambler

Ridgway is generous and careful in his structure; that these works are placed adjacent to each other is essential, as is their sequence. They blur to one, and Ridgway's work is a pillar of hurt and intrigue for everyone who likes language, parable, story, world-making, writing.

I'll Be Right There

I'll Be Right There contains splashes of Murakami's Norwegian Wood: sorrow-clouded young love, played out across a backdrop of an unsettled East Asian city, peppered with references to western literature and art.

The Immortal Crown: An Age of X Novel

While The Immortal Crown does not quite fall prey to the second book syndrome, it is not as thrilling as the first book.

Bad Luck Girl

Callie's age puts this series a bit on the younger side of teen fantasy, in my opinion, but it's no less enjoyable even for someone my age.


Her novel is a reminder of how much art is awash in insecurity and instability.

Michael Jackson, Inc.: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of a Billion-Dollar Empire

The story comes to an abrupt end, with an unsatisfying coda — but that’s more the fault of Michael Jackson’s life and times than of his latest biographer.

A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man

Here’s hoping “A Man Called Destruction” can join the 2012 documentary “Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me” to restore Chilton to his rightful place in the rock-and-roll firmament.

The Scorpion's Sting: Antislavery and the Coming of the Civil War

“The Scorpion’s Sting” offers the best explication of the long history by which Americans embraced the legitimacy of military emancipation, and it offers great insight into the debate over which took precedence: the natural right to property or the natural right to freedom.

Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace

“Cubed” still ends up feeling more like a grind than a pleasure.

The Second Amendment: A Biography

Radical gun advocates, I think, believe their vision of liberty is worth this price in fear and blood. They claim that their preference is rooted in America’s history, but it is not: Their minds would not be changed even by a book better than this one.

Mr Mercedes

It is a rich, resonant, exceptionally readable accomplishment by a man who can write in whatever genre he chooses. James M. Cain, who knew a thing or two about this sort of story, would probably have agreed.