Saturday 18 March 1995
Cruel posh girls, lads in flat caps, freshly scrubbed front steps and long-suffering mothers - but it's all too late. You have to be 13 to abandon yourself to the world of Catherine Cookson. In this, her latest novel (she's written nearly 100), the handsome Geoff Fulton returns from the war to discover that Lizzie, a young girl he once saved from the "worst peril", has now grown into a beautiful young woman. Like DH Lawrence on a low heat - after a few pages you start wishing for something more fanciful to pop up . . . just like you did at 13.
A MATCH TO THE HEART by Gretel Ehrlich, Fourth Estate £9.99
This study of the phenomenon of lightning bristles with information and charts the physical repercussions of electrocution with good-humoured detachment. Along the way, myths are debunked (lightning loves to strike the same place twice since it can follow the same ionised channel), and facts and figures are aired: flashes hit the earth 100 times a second and kill more people than any other natural phenomenon; 600 people die each year from lightning strikes in the US. Most memorably, Ehrlich describes the effect of having 30 million volts pass through you: "Nerves are like wet noodles . . . after electrocution they are more like cooked spaghetti".
THE ART OF THE BRONTS by Christine Alexander and Jane Sellars, Cambridge £55
Everyone knows the Bronts were geniuses as writers, but what about their paintings and drawings? This expensively produced volume confirms that, despite their enthusiasm for art, their talents were less visual than verbal. Though the pictures themselves (including watercolour landscapes and lurid images of the heroes and heroines who peopled their famous fantasy worlds) are rather disappointing, the book is illuminating from a biographical viewpoint: that Charlotte exhibited her pictures in Leeds, for example, contradicts the traditional belief that the Bronts were cut off from civilisation.
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 3 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 4 Motorists taunt suicidal woman on bridge and tell her to 'get on with it'
- 5 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
Church of Scientology allegedly sent threatening letters to film distributors and festivals showing damning documentary
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Contemporary art is a fraud, says top dealer
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture