This is a timely book and I wish it were a better one. Anti-Americanism has never been more intense in France, especially at the highest levels. It is marching in step with anti-Semitism, which, thanks to the huge influx of militant Muslims, is now more bloodthirsty in France than at any time since the Vichy years, when Jews were rounded up, held in their thousands in the ‘Vél d’Hiv’ (winter-sports stadium), then entrained to Auschwitz. Anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism have a good deal in common, being largely irrational, contradictory, and often based on sheer ignorance.
Follow Literary Review on Twitter
'She digs her images into her story, so that they blow up like psychic land mines when the reader’s perception brushes against them.'
Hilary Mantel reviewing Margaret Atwood: a #BookerPrize double-header from the archive.
In Ali Smith's "Summer", 'the coronavirus pandemic has arrived. Lockdown happens too. There are allusions to Black Lives Matter, to online abuse and radicalisation, to things so recently news that it feels shocking to find them in a novel.'
'Stevenson told W E Henley, the model for Long John Silver, it was "going to shoot up and become a star". Alas, it fizzled out like a cheap firework, as many of his projects had a tendency to do.'
Alan Taylor looks at the greatest novels never written.