The Guardian

Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale by Marina Warner review – wide-ranging and wonderful

From forest hut to Brothers Grimm to Harry Potter, this scholarly survey explores the force, flight and fantasy of fairy stories.

Mecca: The Sacred City by Ziauddin Sardar review – ‘The pilgrimage is now an adjunct to the retail’

The House of Saud will not like this book, which argues that the holiest site in Islam has become a centre of brash consumerism and architectural folly.

Chimera: the play about the twin inside

A woman finds out she has two sets of DNA – and her son is really her nephew – in a new play about genetics and motherhood by Deborah Stein and Suli Holum.

Suspended Sentences by Patrick Modiano – three novellas from the Nobel laureate

He has been hailed as a contemporary Marcel Proust, but Modiano’s investigations into the moral history of the occupation make him a pure originalThere are many alluring anecdotes from the life of Patrick Modiano – that his mother had a part in God

Mozart: Così fan Tutte review – Currentzis’s take is wilful but fresh

Kermes/Ernman/Maltman/Tarver/Kasyan/Wolff/Musicaeterna/Currentzis(Sony Classical) Continue reading...

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman – review

This long-awaited story of the hacktivist collective proves loyal to the cause, yet Coleman does succeed in revealing the complex aims of the groupIn September, photos of naked celebrities were hacked and then posted on the image-sharing website 4chan, to

Behind the Beautiful Forevers review – a triumph for David Hare and Meera Syal

Meticulously detailing the endless grind of Mumbai slum life helps this spirited adaptation of Katherine Boo’s award-winning reportage avoid any danger of quaintness.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers review – a triumph for David Hare and Meera Syal

Olivier, LondonMeticulously detailing the endless grind of Mumbai slum life helps this spirited adaptation of Katherine Boo’s award-winning reportage avoid any danger of quaintness• A spotlight on Mumbai’s invisible poorWhen Katherine Boo’s book a

Special Deluxe by Neil Young review – ‘The proud highway of second thoughts’

From gas-guzzler to eco-warrior: the rock star waxes lyrical about his love of cars and the open road, then makes a sharp turnIn 1974, the singer-songwriter Neil Young was hanging out in a bar near his Californian ranch – the bar where his future wife

The English and Their History review a book of resounding importance to contemporary debates

Robert Tombss lucid, definitive and delightful history is a triumphThe English and Their History, by the Professor of French history at Cambridge, Robert Tombs, is a work of supreme intelligence. Intelligence cuts its way through orthodoxy, dogmas, tradit