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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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum