Andy Martin

Andy Martin teaches French at Cambridge University and is the author of The Boxer and the Goalkeeper: Sartre vs Camus

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Andrew Cotton rides the wave of his life in Portugal

Surfing: Andrew Cotton and the giant wave hunt

British plumber was at surfing’s Oscars in LA on Friday night after feat of derring-do in Portugal this year. He tells Andy Martin how the sport is changing as the search for the biggest ride gathers momentum

A surfer heads out to catch the early morning waves in Durban

Andy Martin: Why Nelson Mandela may have spent his lonely prison hours dreaming of catching a wave

The street children taking to the boards on South Africa’s foaming surf may be following the inspiration of the country's former leader himself

The Humans, By Matt Haig

This novel about an alienated genius brings a Martian perspective to life on a strange planet

British teens are the worst at learning languages? Once you’ve cracked Spanish, French is a doddle

Immerse yourself in the language as it is used: real films, real books, real songs

Hooked: Lee Child

A Wanted Man, By Lee Child

An avid fan of the top-selling series test-drives the latest with some more objective readers...

For those who have gone before us: The Memo building will act as a memorial to all those species that have died out

For whom the bell tolls: £20m 'Memo' project takes shape on Dorset's Jurassic coast

It started as a stonemason's visionary idea – to commemorate all the species that have ever existed and are now extinct. Now it's a £20m project supported by The Royal Society and taking shape in an extraordinary new building on Dorset's Jurassic coast.

Andy Martin: Well - do you want a better brain or not?

A second language builds cognitive potential, not just linguistic ability

The Extract: 'The Boxer and the Goalkeeper: Sartre vs Camus'

After his friendship with Jean-Paul Sartre had turned to bitter rivalry, Albert Camus found peace in rural Provence. It was not to last...

Five-minute memoir: Andy Martin recalls how a stolen book changed his life

It was a small family bookshop, on a peaceful back street in a small town on the fringes of London. I treated it as my own personal library, and I would sit there for hours on end, often on the floor, usually not buying anything. I loved that bookshop, so naturally I had to go and betray it.

Land's Edge: a coastal memoir, By Tim Winton

A novelist captures all the glamour, and terror, of the sea

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam