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Peter Conrad

Hockney: the Biography Volume 2 review portrait of the artist as the eternal adolescent

David Hockney comes across as egotistical, emotionally detached and incurably eccentric in this second volume of Christopher Simon Sykess biographyDavid Hockneys biographer has neatly divided his life in half, representing him in youth as a libertine hell

The Sense of Style review Steven Pinkers comedy of linguistic bad manners

The psycholinguists guide to modern usage is at its best when highlighting hilarious gaffes.

Late Turner: Painting Set Free review prepare to be dazzled

Tate Britains glorious exhibition of Turners late work shows painting returned to its origins and refined to its essenceTurner blossoms late at the Tate in pictures Continue reading...

In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and Modernism in Paris, 1900-1910 review 'you might need sunglasses'

The 1900s Paris art scene blazes into multicoloured life in Sue Roe's vividly high-pitched group biographySue Roe's chronicle of artistic high jinks in modernist Paris comes wrapped in a cover of blushing red, inky black and bilious green. These are the c

Authorisms: Words Wrought By Writers review 'a fascinating history of neologisms'

Paul Dickson reveals how funny and random the creation of language can be The lexicographer Paul Dickson is a connoisseur of what he calls "word words" and a compiler of "book books". Both tautologies known in the puffed-up jargon of linguistics as "co

The Baby Boom review PJ O'Rourke mounts a less than convincing defence of the blessed generation

The caustic US humorist's jovial assessment of the generation that 'had it all' only highlights its dubious legacy.

David Bowie is - review

" David Bowie is ": the title is an unfinished sentence, which gives the verb a subject but no object, and it suggests that Bowie is everything and perhaps nothing, a whirligig of dressed-up personae, not a person. To begin with, he isn't even David Bowie

George Bellows: Modern American Life - review

American painting began with the contemplation of virgin nature: the forested clefts of the Hudson valley, the radiant, skyscraping heights of the Rocky mountains. But by the end of the 19th century this idyll had been spoiled by fuming, stewing industria

The Silence of Animals by John Gray - review

John Gray's latest work finds him unimpressed as ever with the ascent of man "The more I see of men," said Mme de Sta

The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne - review

A history of Jane Austen in everyday objects paints a vivid picture of her life and times Jane Austen may be too likable or lovable for her own good. Pride and Prejudice , which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year, was recently elected the nation