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'I'm good with a water cannon'

Kieron Smith, Boy, By James Kelman

The first few pages of this novel reminded me of the first few pages of Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The child's consciousness of the world around him, at once dreamy and acute, is given with the same clarity and faithfulness. But James Kelman's boy grows up slower than Joyce's. Aged around seven at the start, by the end of the book he is still only 12. One of the most remarkable things is the way that the narrator's language gradually alters as he ages; though he retains his working-class Glaswegian dialect throughout, the vocabulary becomes richer, the perceptions more sophisticated.

The Sonnets: 32

By William Shakespeare

The Sonnets: 144

By William Shakespeare

The Sonnets: 111

By William Shakespeare

The Sonnets: 110

By William Shakespeare

The Sonnets: 42

By William Shakespeare

The Sonnets: 30

By William Shakespeare

Culture: A golden age for young 'bromance'

What distinguishes men in their twenties and thirties from men of my generation? For one thing, we were much less obsessed with personal grooming when we were their age. We didn't moisturise, we didn't exfoliate and we didn't make a "feature" of our hair. (I'm talking about straight men, obviously.) More importantly, we didn't engage in close physical contact with our male friends. Unless very drunk, we did not tell other men that we loved them.

Life Support: How to make friends

Essential skills for the modern world

Games Review: The Maw

Xbox Live Arcade, Microsoft, £6.80 or 800 MSP

The Ten Best Beauty Gift Sets

The perfect gift for a friend this Christmas - or yourself!

<a href="http://indyblogs.typepad.com/independent/sleeping_around/index.html" target="_blank">Sleeping Around: Two friends and a baby</a>

A new survey shows that more than half of women would consider asking a male friend to father their child if they failed to find the right partner by a certain age.

Kate Jones

A number of years ago, writes Raja Shahadeh, I was given recommendations of literary agents in London. When I got to ICM and met Kate Jones [obituary by Andrew Franklin, 6 February], I went no further. All the other agents I had met were excellent professionals but with Kate, despite our different backgrounds and experiences, there was an immediate rapport.

Tom Bradby, smooth operator

Successful author, associate of the royal family, dashing denizen of Westminster. Few media figures can match the lustre of ITV's political editor, Tom Bradby. But how much of an Establishment figure is he really?

Sullivan links Ebbers to WorldCom fraud

Bernard Ebbers, the former chief executive of WorldCom on trial for allegedly orchestrating an $11bn (£5.9bn) fraud, yesterday faced the most serious evidence so far when Scott Sullivan, the telcom's giant former chief financial officer, took the stand against him.

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Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years