Cultural Life: Philip Pullman, novelist


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The Independent Culture


It would be easier to say which books I'm not reading; there are books all over the house in states of semi-having-been-readness. I'm enjoying Robert A Caro's The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. It's a brilliant dissection of political power and how it operates. What else? Judith Flanders' The Victorian City; Simon Winders' Germania; Philip Hensher's The Missing Ink.


A delightful Aladdin performed by Creation Theatre at the North Wall in Oxford. Like many small theatre groups, Creation is in imminent danger of extinction, and deserves support.


The Hunt, directed by Thomas Vinterberg, is a superb examination of how social panic can swiftly become a force of utter unreasoning malevolence. Leos Carax's Holy Motors is a magnificent explosion of imagination.


I'm catching up with Homeland and The Killing III, both of which pose an urgent question for British TV: why don't we produce anything like that? The Hour shows that we could do it, if the will was there.

Visual Arts

Jenny Saville at Modern Art Oxford. Her massive paintings of naked flesh were daunting and confusing.

'Grimm Tales: For Young and Old' by Philip Pullman is out now