PAPERBACKS

Virginia Woolf by Hermione Lee, Vintage pounds 8.99. For those who think they know as much as they ever want to know about Bloomsbury, this lively, fresh and scholarly book is essential. A new VW emerges: not the wispy and whimsical lady-of-the-manor but a modern, shrewd and energetic character, although one who battled often against frightening mental illness. The novels, the life, the social world, the inimitable diaries and letters are woven into a highly readable account. Time For Bed by David Baddiel, Warner pounds 5.99. Insomniac Gabriel Jacoby, half New Lad, half nerd, harbours a vast unrequited love for his cat, Jezebel, and, more dangerously, his brother's wife, Alice. With his unsavoury flatmate, Nick, he sniggeringly talks about sex as though it were football ("What was the state of the pitch?" "Waterlogged"), but is a mass of neuroses. Things look up when Alice's enticingly similar sister arrives from the States, but romance is sabotaged by the dastardly Jezebel and the increasingly unhinged Nick, found gibbering in the dustbin. Persevere through the relentless flow of jokes about porn, women and Jews, and you'll find Baddiel is not a bad plotter, and he's often wildly funny. Woza Shakespeare! by Antony Sher and Gregory Doran, Methuen pounds 12.99. Overjoyed at the New South Africa, Sher renews his passport and heads out with a gang of thesps and his partner, director Gregory Doran, to take part in a series of workshops at the famous Market Theatre. Jo'burg is a tense place, but the vibrant local actors inspire the duo to return for a run of Titus Andronicus. Their interlocking diaries tell the story of the production, the different approaches of white and black to Titus's horrifying subject matter, and the wider story of the Market's difficulties. Doran's directorial, outsider perspective is cooler; Sher is vivid, touchy, eternally on the lookout for suspected slights on his Jewishness and gayness. His illustrations are, as usual, excellent.

In This Dark House by Louise Kehoe, Penguin pounds 6.99. This is "Daddy Dearest": to follow on from the more sentimental Dads-reminiscence of the New Lads, a memoir from the daughter of avant garde architect Berthold Lubetkin (the "father of British modernism") which testifies to the living hell of parental and marital tyranny the great man created. Lubetkin suddenly decided to take his family to live on an isolated farm, where he bullied his wife, and by turns ridiculed and ignored his children. What's more, he turned out to be a world-class liar: his stories of being the only survivor of a family murdered by Bolsheviks are shown, after his death, to have been false. Kehoe has managed a painful sort of forgiveness, but this is therapy-literature.

The Story of the Night by Colm Tibn, Picador pounds 15.99. Argentina in the Eighties: Richard Garay, a gay English teacher, lives with his tiresome English mother, who herself lives in a fictional British Empire, complete with jingoistic Thatcherism. He has casual sex with strangers and a hopeless crush on one of his affluent, heterosexual pupils, until he falls properly in love. A CIA couple induct Richard into the strange political agenda of US oil-barons: namely, the privatisation of Argentinian oil. Suddenly he's rich, wearing suits, and being seduced - the classic American yuppie in a country pillaged by political corruption and brutality towards its own citizens. Other realities emerge: a former classmate, he discovers, was dropped out of a plane over the ocean, one of Argentina's "Disappeared". Tibn's trademark terse prose wraps over the pacy narrative to give a picture of wider society - and a frightening one at that.

Fighting Talk: The Biography of John Prescott by Colin Brown, Simon & Schuster pounds 6.99. On 2 May, John Prescott waved to the cameras as he walked up to 10 Downing Street. "I've waited years for this," was his comment. He entered the Commons 27 years ago, and the deputy leadership was his first ministerial position. But even that didn't come easily, and this book documents Prescott's sometimes stormy relations with Tony Blair in fascinating detail. If you want to understand the role of this tub-thumping, grass-roots man in the New Labour dream-machine, try this engrossing book.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
art
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Game of Thrones will run for ten years if HBO gets its way but showrunners have mentioned ending it after seven

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
Mans Zelmerlow will perform 'Heroes' for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

Poldark review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing