Arts and Entertainment

Given our national obsession with property prices, Tim Walker’s novel is bound to hit a nerve. His fictional couple, the Manvilles, bought their large north London home at a knock-down price in the 1990s, and it became the key to two aspects of their family life. Jerry, a successful advertising executive, undertook all the original plumbing, electrical and redecoration work; Pen devised a series of popular children’s books, The House on the Hill, whose “cheeky brat with the ridiculous schemes” is modelled on, and named after, her real-life son Conrad: 15 years on, they have done a loft conversion, and divorced.

Harvey does not care about critics

All hail the 21st-century Socrates...

...or, rather, don't, says the novelist Samantha Harvey, in explaining to Danuta Kean why we prefer not to question our beliefs

While the demands of modern life have seen most of us spending longer hours at a computer, for some it has become an overriding obsession

Addicted! Scientists show how internet dependency alters the human brain

Internet addiction has for the first time been linked with changes in the brain similar to those seen in people addicted to alcohol, cocaine and cannabis. In a groundbreaking study, researchers used MRI scanners to reveal abnormalities in the brains of adolescents who spent many hours on the internet, to the detriment of their social and personal lives. The finding could throw light on other behavioural problems and lead to the development of new approaches to treatment, researchers said.

Odd man out: Matthew Rhys, Tamzin Merchant and Freddie Fox star in 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood'

Edwin Drood: The mysterious appeal of Dickens' darkest tale

Gwyneth Hughes explains how she adapted a great literary whodunit for TV

Man jailed for pensioner burglary

A burglar whose terrified 86-year-old victim suffered a suspected heart attack has been jailed for 16 months.

Simon English: Another absurd opportunity for a celebrity brand

Sir Humphrey wanders into the study at Number 10. "I have Mary Portas on the phone for you Prime Minister." The PM is wading through "her vision for the future of our high streets" and is suddenly feeling very depressed. "Tell her I'm out to lunch," he sighs. "On second thoughts, tell her she is."

Simon English: A Government giddy on celebrity deserves Mary's wishful shopping list

Outlook Sir Humphrey wanders into the study at Number 10. "I have Mary Portas on the phone for you Prime Minister." The PM is wading through "her vision for the future of our high streets" and is suddenly feeling very depressed. "Tell her I'm out to lunch," he sighs. "On second thoughts, tell her she is."

Wendy Kays: The best solution to game addiction? Maturity and strategy

While it's tempting to use the "addiction" label to explain the rude behavior of Alec Baldwin after being refused a plane seat because he wouldn't turn off his phone game "Words with Friends," there is a less simple and more sobering explanation.

Little Dragon, Shepherd's Bush Empire

Take a bow, Damon Albarn. He's not actually on stage, but he may well be the reason a good portion of the crowd has turned up.

Terence Blacker: Whatever happened to promiscuity?

It is time to brace ourselves for more bad news. The cover story in this week's Newsweek reveals a new epidemic which already has an estimated nine million Americans in its grip. This scourge is more frightening than bird flu in that carriers of the condition are everywhere – in society, in the home. It could, as Ant and Dec might say, be you.

Terence Blacker: Just how grave is sex addiction?

Would it be heartless to suggest that here is one problem we don't need to worry about?

Album: Lou Reed & Metallica, Lulu (Mercury)

Lulu may be the ultimate Goth album: steeped in art-house self-regard, mired in the vilest extremes of perversion and misery, barked out with as little human warmth as its practitioners can muster and its leaden tortures drawn out to unbearable lengths, it takes the notion of being "drawn to the dark side" to the nth degree.

We Are Three Sisters, The Viaduct Theatre, Halifax

The three frumpy sisters were marooned in a dowdy parsonage on a windswept Yorkshire hillside, surrounded by death and disease, remote from the great events of their time by dint of geography and gender. Yet during the brief years in which they wrote in secret, the Brontës created a slim body of work which outlives them and earns new devotees across the world in each generation.

Heroin and crack addiction falls by 25,000

Britain's drug problem is on the wane according to figures which show that the number of heroin and crack users is down and their average age is rising.

Tom Chatfield: Why do people disappear into virtual worlds?

The thing is...
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?