Annette Kobak

Whole Societies are in Mourning for their Lives

Men in Black

By

Reaktion Books 280pp £19.95 order from our bookshop

It’s the claim of some books that they will change your life. Men in Black makes no such claim, yet it undoubtedly will if you read it. At its simplest – and the book’s apparently simple title proves to be the doorway to a brilliantly sustained, illuminating and subtle disquisition on the malaise of nineteenth- and twentieth-century English society – you will probably never put on a black garment again, man or woman, without resonating like a tuning-fork with the memory of what you have read. Even to those with keen awareness of dress codes, to put on a black anything will become a statement of previously unimaginable complexity.

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

    • 'Her favourite design included a body in the shape of a horse, with a steam engine inside ... The passenger would t… ,
    • Sign up to our email newsletter below! Get free articles, highlights from the archive, and chances to win theatre… ,
    • 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… ,