Iain Weatherby

His Discovery Was His Entire Life

The Black Book


Faber & Faber 400pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

For a start it’s a very good title. It’s a wonder it hasn’t been used before (or perhaps it has). Why it’s called what it is is more problematic. The name conjures up secrets (‘little black book’), sacred things (bibles, prayer books), official records (perhaps), darkness (of course), mystery (certainly). This last attribute suits it well enough to begin with, and at the very end the author lets us in on some of the secret, but for the bulk of the book the title is just another mystery for us to fathom, and it is full of mysteries.

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

    • RT : Founded in 1979, is a trusted independent source for reviews of new books across a variety of genres. A… ,
    • RT : Here we are - "Shelf Indulgence" by Ed Potten, a wonderful read, well worth your time: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Like going to a party hoping to get away as quickly as politeness allowed and at 4am finding myself still engrosse… ,
    • 'Neville never shed his sense of being the junior, and perhaps least-deserving Chamberlain.' From the archive, Mic… ,
    • 'The erecting and immediate destruction of a series of straw men rather detracts from what is for the most part an… ,
    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying polemic...book… ,
    • 'Seventy years on, the time we have left to gather such first-hand testimony is running out.' John Keay on the sig… ,