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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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The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
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The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
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Sport
Today's Liverpool Echo back page
football
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One of the 'princesses' in the video
videoYouTube reinstates sweary video after takedown for 'violating terms'
Life and Style
Could you tell the difference between this and an organic alternative?
food + drink

Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'

Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
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Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
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tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?