Why Freud Was Wrong: Sin, Science and Psychoanalysis by Richard Webster (Fontana, pounds 9.99) Not so much a deliberate demolition of Freud, more a testing of his theories using the humanistic techniques of literary analysis. The result is not only an intensely stimulating book about the science of the mind, but also one of the most readable. Just as Freud idolised certain mentors (whose work is shown to be "fundamentally mistaken"), so he demanded idolatry himself. In this way, the great tenets of Freudianism were irrevocably flawed from conception. Webster ends his devastating critique by proposing the need for a theory of human nature based on Darwinian biology.

The Double Tongue by William Golding (Faber, pounds 5.99) A final mysterious work, filled with dark magic and sympathetic insight, this novella is Golding's Tempest. Strikingly vivid, the protean imagination of the elderly novelist inhabits the body of Areka, an ill-favoured Greek girl who leaves her unloving family to serve at the Oracle of Delphi. The Golding trademark - a lightning moment of transcendental change - occurs when a god first possesses this gawky medium: "Suddenly the tomb was full of rolling, rollicking laughter... and I knew as my body worked like some automaton that it came through my own mouth." Electric stuff.

Reach for the Ground by Jeffrey Bernard (Duckworth, pounds 8.99) Not every columnist would commence a new collection with a trawl of damning criticism directed at himself: "menacing and a bit unpleasant," "sad old drunken bore," "a shit of the first order." Perhaps true - his repetition of the gibes shows how he harbours grudges - yet Bernard also happens to be a fine stylist and a real pro. He maintains his output, studded with one-liners ("Bitter? No more than Angostura"), in circumstances which would have defeated many of his critics. His leg is amputated on page 132. But why are the pieces undated? Vinegary and droll, this is a valuable social document.

The Black Diaspora by Ronald Segal (Faber, pounds 9.99) Fuelled by Segal's simmering indignation, this is an ambitious, absorbing account of slavery and its aftermath. 10.2m people made the terrible crossing from Africa to the New World, with the first slave revolt recorded in 1522. Later uprisings were put down so ferociously that some of these pages are hard to read. Segal records the grudging, botched process of emancipation with icy incredulity. He visits the major black populations outside Africa and chronicles their achievements. Curiously, there is scant mention of the Back-to-Africa movement and Liberia is not listed in the index.

Someone Wonderful by Barbara Neil (Headline, pounds 6.99) Barbara Neil's tale of an aunt and niece in search of the "Happily Ever After" - ie, marriageable men - is an innocuous, though at times mawkish, read. Brought together after the death of a husband and a mother, Grace and her young niece Lily move into a flat off Hyde Park and present a brave face to the world - Grace cheering herself up with young black man and Brazilian aristocrats. Tuscany, Marbella and the South of France provide the backdrop. Joanna Trollope goes Eurotrash.

Gangland Britain by Tony Thompson (Coronet, pounds 6.99) The successors to the Krays and Richardsons keep a much lower profile. How many know of London's six major crime families? Though we hear tantalising fragments about the Adams brothers, who have grown "spectacularly rich" shipping cocaine through Bosnia, most of Thompson's informants are small fry eager to bend the ear of a hack with gruesome yarns. Only one-sixth of the book is devoted to traditional organised crime. In order to maintain the body count, Thompson turns to the Yardies, Mafia, Triads and Hell's Angels. The result is gory, disturbing - and, of course, irresistibly readable.

Hanging Up by Delia Ephron (Fourth Estate, pounds 9.99) Eve and her sisters are always on the phone and, being Californians they have a lot to talk about - especially when their mother goes to live in Great Bear with a man as tall as a redwood. But it's Eve, the sensitive middle sister, who acts as the family's central communication exchange and emotional conduit, keeping her sisters up to date with their father's suicidal tendencies and their mother's drinking problem. Like her own real-life big sister Nora, Delia Ephron likes her dialogue dry and sparkling - and her families interestingly neurotic.

Incidents in the Rue Laugier by Anita Brookner (Penguin, pounds 5.99) In her latest novel, Anita Brookner's characters actually get around to having sex, instead of settling for the usual warm baths and comforting meals. Maud Gonthier, a serious young French woman from Dijon, fulfils her mother's fantasies by sleeping with an unsuitable man (in this case the wonderfully drawn David Tyler, an English cad); then cops out by marrying a suitable one (a boy from Eastbourne). A novel that begs the eternal question of whether it's passion or restraint that finally pays. It always comes as something of a shock to remember that in Brookner's world, it is kindness that generally kills.

Therapy by David Lodge (Penguin, pounds 6.99) Laurence "Tubby" Passmore feels awful about his life but doesn't understand why. The script-writer of a successful television sitcom, he's making tons of money - and while women seem to adore him, he wouldn't think of cheating on his perfect wife. When Tubby's trick knee starts acting up, he even wonders if it might signify some sort of buried dissatisfaction; and from the moment he starts doubting himself, everything goes horribly wrong. Lodge's first novel set outside academia is funny and smartly written, but doesn't quite come off. Perhaps because it contains more jokes about Kierkegaard than a raft of Woody Allen films - which may add up to a few too many.

From Wimbledon to Waco by Nigel Williams (Faber, pounds 5.99) Lying by a glittering Hollywood pool dressed in his grubby Marks and Spencer shorts, Millets hiking boots and a dirty T-shirt, Nigel Williams decides he could live in America forever. It's a long way from Holmbush Road, Wimbledon, but the sunshine and margaritas are better. Williams's account of his family's first trip to the States takes in Hopi Indian reservations, Vegas slot machines and the tight-assed inhabitants of New England - and a family row about negotiating the LA freeway system. Essential in-flight reading for any SW19-ers contemplating going west.

Arts and Entertainment
Stewart Lee (Gavin Evans)


Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment

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

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own