Paul Bailey

Chapters & Verse

The Long Take


Picador 236pp £14.99 order from our bookshop



Jonathan Cape 58pp £10 order from our bookshop

England: Poems from a School


Picador 78pp £9.99 order from our bookshop

Robin Robertson’s wonderful new book is hard to classify. It would be possible to review The Long Take as if it were a novel, even a thriller of sorts. It has a compelling narrative and a central character, known only as Walker, whose efforts to make sense of his life eventually merit the description ‘heroic’. It is written, for the most part, in exceptionally supple verse, though Walker’s memories of his childhood in Nova Scotia and his nightmarish experiences as a soldier in the last months of the Second World War are set down in prose. The overall effect, after two readings, is of a great poem, which begins in a time of turmoil and confusion and ends with the attainment of a curious and unexpected state of grace.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Darley’s book is not a mad dash through this most compelling and complex of English counties. Nor is it another ti… ,
    • 'Moser’s book offers such a gripping account of a profoundly damaged human being, trapped in a cycle of repetition,… ,
    • 'Ideas that I’d thought were set down in full continue to smoulder ... this book is only a snapshot of some larger… ,
    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,