Arts and Entertainment

Sweetness and light among shame and confusion. The greatest of all novels is Leo Tolstoy's final novel, Resurrection. Its effect upon a reader is immense and immediate. Even after eight readings of various translations, I continue to feel its spell and admire its complexity.

Readers' lives; This month: Lunch

This week's winner

Letter: Frozen points

Sir: Evidently Western Siberian Rail was running on time in 1942. I doubt whether Tadeusz Stachowski (letter, 12 November) would be alive to tell the tale of his sub-zero wait on the platform were they under the auspices of today's British railway companies.

Letter: Deep freeze

Sir: Steve Connor writes in "Scott of the Antarctic was killed by a cold snap" (9 November) that the temperature fell to -30F/-34C, with a wind chill factor which must have felt like -45C. The readings quoted are not terribly impressive. I experienced -55C at the Yalutorovsk station in western Siberia while waiting for a train in February 1942. I am still alive to tell the tale.

Travel books: Landscapes and memories

Lilian Pizzichini reviews three books about journeys haunted by ghosts of the past

London missed obliteration by four hours

IF YOU were in London on 30 June 1908, you are astronomically lucky to be alive. That day a comet vaporised over Tunguska, Siberia, releasing as much energy as a 12-megaton atom bomb - 1,000 times more powerful than Hiroshima's blast.

Russia's Gurkhas: the Cossacks bounce back

Historical Notes

Country and Garden: Weekend Work

FORCED HYACINTHS are already available for potting up, though there is no way that I will get round to this job yet. It brings Christmas too close. But if you want to give them as Christmas presents, set bulbs about half an inch apart in a bowl of compost with their noses just showing. Bury the bowl under soil or sand or keep in a cool place indoors.

Books: Over the rainbow

South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami Harvill, pounds 9.99, 192pp: Aamer Hussein finds a fairy-tale at the end of a Japanese dream

Books: A Siberian in Paris

The Books Interview: Andrei Makine swapped rootless Russia for lonely Pigalle - and for a fame that he detests.

Former Soviet Union: That Summer: Altai mountains, Russia, 1995: Siberia, where even bears have bad breath

We'd planned a trip to the mountains and Lake Teletskoye - but we hadn't bargained on getting so close to the wildlife.

Film: In Cannes, a tsar is born

The Russians are coming to the film festival - but don't expect a united front.

Rugby League: Thunder in the sun

Gateshead 22

Wednesday Books: Lives fashioned in exile


Englishman takes dogs out for 1,161 mile walkies across the frozen north

SOME TIME today, if all goes according to plan, a lone exhausted Englishman and his 10 remaining sled dogs will stagger into the Alaskan town of Nome at the end of an epic 1,161-mile race through some of the worst weather the frozen north can throw.

Resign? Over his dead body

Boris Yeltsin is a hobbled figure on the world stage. He has survived double pneumonia, bronchitis, heart trouble and a bleeding ulcer, yet he is a political corpse, hated at home, a laughing stock abroad. And the vultures are hovering. So why is he hanging on to power?
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower