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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Novel approach: Andy Martin observes quietly in the background while Lee Child works on his latest book

Lee Child on Jack Reacher: How the best-selling author writes his mysteries

Every 1 September, Lee Child begins work on another of his massively popular Jack Reacher novels. Only this time, he had Andy Martin looking over his shoulder - who discovered that the author regards his books as more Proust than potboiler

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

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.

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...

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