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Robert McCrum

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid review a thankless commission

The acclaimed crime writer's reworking of Jane Austen's youthful gothic parody begs the question: why bother? Nothing better illustrates the loss of nerve in contemporary British publishing than the vogue for franchising classic literary brands. In a trea

A Spy Among Friends review: Kim Philby's treacherous friendship with Nicholas Elliott

In January 1963, two middle-aged Englishmen took tea together in the Christian quarter of Beirut.

Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee - review

Hermione Lee writes passionately about a novelist whose brilliant career began at the age of 60 The novelist Penelope Fitzgerald endured a life of two unequal halves, of failure followed by success. Put them together - as Hermione Lee has done in thi

Wilson by A Scott Berg - review

Scott Berg traces the rise of Woodrow Wilson, his decline and 'the greatest conspiracy that had ever engulfed the White House' Until he was 55, he had never run for public office. Indeed, he was merely the silver-tongued head of a small university ca

Gandhi Before India by Ramachandra Guha - review

The first volume of this impressive life of Gandhi is at pains to show the true origins of India's national hero For a man born into the obscurity of a remote village in western India in 1869, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who died at the hand of an assass

Man Booker contenders 2013 - a quick recap

Jim Crace is the narrow favourite, while Colm Tóibín may provoke the most serious soul-searching… Here's a reminder of the six novels in contention

Man Booker contenders 2013 - a quick recap

Jim Crace is the narrow favourite, while Colm Tóibín may provoke the most serious soul-searching… Here's a reminder of the six novels in contention

Man Booker contenders 2013 - a quick recap

Jim Crace is the narrow favourite, while Colm Tóibín may provoke the most serious soul-searching… Here's a reminder of the six novels in contention

Man Booker contenders 2013 - a quick recap

Jim Crace is the narrow favourite, while Colm Tóibín may provoke the most serious soul-searching… Here's a reminder of the six novels in contention

Man Booker contenders 2013 - a quick recap

Jim Crace is the narrow favourite, while Colm Tóibín may provoke the most serious soul-searching… Here's a reminder of the six novels in contention