Paperbacks

Reviewed by Emma Hagestadt and Christopher Hirst

Trash by Dorothy Allison (Flamingo, pounds 5.99)

The chances of survival aren't good in a Dorothy Allison story. Run- away trucks, botched abortions, and suicide pose the biggest threats - though schoolgirl Shannon Pearl takes the biscuit by igniting herself at a local barbecue. Allison's short stories and poems (many of which formed the basis of her much lauded first novel, Bastard Out of Carolina) speak knowingly of the grubby pain of wanting what you cannot have.

The Constant Mistress by Angela Lambert (Penguin, pounds 5.99)

Diagnosed with a fatal illness at the age of 44, Laura decides to spend her last few months in the company of men. Powerful, sophisticated men; men who run banks and law firms; men with names like Bruno, Edouard and Jurgen. A practised storyteller with a soft spot for Eurotrash, Lambert examines what happens to a woman who rejects the lure of domesticity for a more cosmopolitan state of affairs.

The Ottomans by Andrew Wheatcroft (Penguin, pounds 8.99)

Ever since Constantinople fell, Europeans have regarded the Ottomans with horror and fascination. The first sultan to pitch tent within the city's walls was said to have reminded people of "a parrot about to eat ripe cherries", and from this history you can understand why. Pictures of jewel-encrusted palaces and cloistered harems glitter from the pages, and any attempt by the author to disentangle myth from reality falls a little flat.

In Cold Domain by Anne Fine (Penguin, pounds 5.99)

When Barbara announces to her assembled family that she has met the love of her life - Miguel-Angel Gippini Alargon Lopez de Rego, a waiter from the pub next door - they go into overdrive, not least her blue-rinsed mother. Set in the garden of the family estate, Cold Domain, Fine's farce involves a hearty dose of camp innuendo and bare bottoms, all told with a gusto that should make writers of BBC sitcoms hang their heads in shame.

Lud Heat and Suicide Bridge by Iain Sinclair (Vintage, pounds 5.99)

These fragments from the Seventies begin with a dark speculation about Hawksmoor's churches (which also inspired Peter Ackroyd). From this high point, the book declines into allusive rambling in a style which owes something to the Beat poets, but there's no denying Sinclair's acuity. Two decades ago, he was quoting from The Large Scale Structure of Space Time by one S. W. Hawking.

Footsteps by Richard Holmes (Flamingo, pounds 7.99)

Looking at a photograph of Shelley's house near Lucca, Holmes feels "a faint tingling sensation" when he detects a child on the picture's edge: "I felt I was looking at little William, Shelley's dead son". The gulf of a century or two all but disappears as the biographer pursues his subjects. These exciting explorations of literary figures - others include R. L. Stevenson and Wordsworth - come close to time travel.

The Thought Gang by Tibor Fischer (Minerva, pounds 6.99)

As a bank robber, Dr Eddie Coffin has several things going against him. He is alcoholic, overweight, accident-prone and a failed philosopher obsessed by words beginning with the letter "Z". With his maimed sidekick Hubert, he muses on metaphysics during messy heists. The gang wear Nietzsche masks - "they're easy to make because of the bog-brush moustache". Of course. Hilarious, fast-moving stuff.

Conflict of Loyalty by Geoffrey Howe (Pan, pounds 8.99)

Despite its title, most of this book is devoted to ovine service in the great offices of state under Margaret Thatcher. Suddenly, after 550 pages, the story takes on an epic momentum as Howe, scorned and excluded, prepares to slay the dragon. No, he says, it was unconnected with his demotion, nor had the formidable Elspeth Howe anything to do with it. Of course not. It was purely policy, purely Europe.

Arts and Entertainment
Tate Modern chief Chris Dercon, who will be leaving to run a Berlin theatre company
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Tasos: 'I rarely refuse an offer to be photographed'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Girls on the verge of a nervous breakdown: Florence Pugh and Maisie Williams star in 'The Falling'
Film
Arts and Entertainment
Legendary charm: Clive Owen and Keira Knightley in 2004’s ‘King Arthur’
FilmGuy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle the legend
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury

music

Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas

film

Arts and Entertainment

music

Arts and Entertainment
A shot from the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7

film

Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary

TV

Arts and Entertainment
The leader of the Church of Scientology David Miscavige

TV

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

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

book review
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
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
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

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

music
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
  • 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.

    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions
    Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

    Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
    General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

    All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

    The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
    How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

    How Etsy became a crafty little earner

    The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
    Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

    King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

    Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
    Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

    Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

    The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
    Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

    Don't fear the artichoke

    Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
    11 best men's socks

    11 best men's socks

    Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
    Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

    Paul Scholes column

    Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
    Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
    London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

    Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

    Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
    Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

    Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

    Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
    Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

    Khorasan is back in Syria

    America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
    General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

    On the campaign trail with Ukip

    Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
    Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

    Expect a rush on men's tights

    Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions