Arts and Entertainment English film director Edgar Wright

Films

Stephen King: Prudence is fine, but history tells us that austerity can be a costly business

King's austerity. With echoes of Sir Stafford Cripps, he of the regular cold baths, Marxist beliefs and puritanical tendencies, the Governor of the Bank of England has announced to the nation that tough times lie ahead. He's right. As the credit crunch takes hold, and as inflation continues to edge higher, it's time to face the funereal music. No longer can we continue enjoying ourselves. Having built up a mountain of debt over recent years, we've now got to pay some of it off. That means hard work, more saving, less fun. And should the Chancellor of the Exchequer think about providing some fiscal solace in this newly austere world, Mervyn King will simply have to say, "not now, Darling".

Stephen King: Misguided thinking of those who say recession would purge the system

I never thought I'd associate the economics profession with sadism, but I'm beginning to wonder. In recent weeks, I've read an increasing number of articles suggesting that a recession would do the world economy a power of good. The protagonists' arguments follow in the best traditions of John Major's approach to economic policy. It was the mild-mannered Mr Major, after all, who once said "If it isn't hurting, it isn't working". But who, though, deserves to be hurt? Shock therapy sometimes works, but policymakers shouldn't bank on this approach all the time.

Stephen King: The Fed cuts rates while the ECB frets over inflation. Which one has it right?

Are we staring into a recessionary abyss? Or are we facing an inflationary blow off? Returning from Norway last week, I grabbed a copy of the European edition of the Financial Times. The main headline made for disturbing reading: "Eurozone inflation soars to 14-year high". Now, call me old-fashioned, but I think of soaring inflation as something rather unpleasant. In my childhood, UK inflation was, for a while, running at over 20 per cent per year. Could the eurozone be suffering a similar fate?

Duma Key By Stephen King

A late show of force from the artist of dread

Stephen King: Market convulsions will lead to the return of the state as a major economic force

When the dust settles on the financial market mayhem of the last few months – mayhem which degenerated into an extraordinary convulsive fit last week – one consequence will, I suspect, stand out from all others. We will say goodbye to unfettered free-market capitalism and the minimal state.

Stephen King: If the West denies chances to emerging countries, it will only end in tears

A couple of weeks ago, I was in New York with my family. In between the various shopping expeditions (de rigueur for British holidaymakers in cheap-dollar Manhattan), I took my children to the Lower East Side to visit the Tenement Museum. Located on Orchard Street, the museum is, as you might expect, no more than a small building containing an assortment of tiny apartments. Each has been designed to reflect the lives of families who lived there in various years between the tenements' construction in the 1860s and their later closure – reflecting tougher (more humane?) building regulations – in the 1930s.

Duma Key, By Stephen King

Even before he was hit by a truck in 1999, being bedridden had frequently been one of the primal fears powering Stephen King's fiction. King has got much creative mileage out of incapacitated characters, from Paul Sheldon hobbled and trapped in bed by obsessive fan Annie Wilkes in 1987's Misery, Jessie Burlingame left handcuffed to the head board in a solitary cabin in Maine, after her husband suffers a fatal heart attack during an S&M session in 1992's Gerald's Game, to the horrors witnessed by Louis Creed while working for the University of Maine's campus health service in 1983's Pet Sematary. Since his accident, King has relived his personal horror story in a number of novels and television programmes, including Dreamcatcher (2001), Kingdom Hospital (2004) and The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah (2004).

America's rich flog off dream homes

And guess who owns 'the biggest and the best'? David Usborne explores the 10 costliest homes on the market in the United States and discovers a distinct streak of 'ridiculosity'

TOP FIVE SPORTS BOOKS

1 Pound for Pound: A Biography of Sugar Ray Robinson Herb Boyd, (Amstad, hardback, pounds 18.99)

Wales only just survive rain-soaked shambles

Wales 27 Tonga 20

Television Review: Omnibus

IN HIS NOVEL Misery, about a popular author whose "number one fan" imprisons him and cuts off his feet, Stephen King produced the best-known and scariest satire on the cult of the celebrity author. So it was ironic, and more than a little disappointing, to see him fall victim, in a different way, to the same cult in last night's Omnibus (BBC1).

STEPHEN KING'S MISERY

ONE WAS A BEST-SELLING HORROR WRITER. THE OTHER WAS A SMALL-TOWN VAN DRIVER. AND WHEN THEY RAN INTO EACH OTHER, ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada