Sylvester Stallone

Diary: Is Sarkozy fit for renewal of historic hostilities?

The regrettable spat that has erupted between our Prime Minister and the French President prompts some in the Tory ranks to excitably predict that their man would come out on top in the event of historic hostilities ever having to get physical again.

More headlines

Explosive return of the all-action heroes

Stallone and Schwarzenegger are back in The Expendables, just one of a slew of macho, retro blockbusters this summer. Is it a response to the 'war on terror'? An antidote to the credit crunch? No, says Geoffrey Macnab – audiences just love an adrenalin rush

The Diary: Tracy Chevalier; sexism in Waterstone's; Sylvester

Tracy Chevalier, the historical novelist, said looking back at her humble beginnings, it was no bad thing her debut novel, 'The Blue Virgin', about an American woman searching for French ancestors, sunk like a stone. "I'm glad it happened to me. It's very hard with a successful first novel. The level has been set very high. Look at Monica Ali's and Zadie Smith's second novels and the reviews they received..." Despite initial failure, Chevalier managed to come up trumps with her second novel, 'Girl With a Pearl Earring', which was a bestseller and adapted for film starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth. She didn't let the pressure of stellar success paralyse her either: she's bringing out her sixth novel, 'Remarkable Creatures', about two eccentric spinsters with a passion for fossil hunting, today. Chevalier, an American who lives in London, said she has resisted joining Twitter because, um, life is simply too short: "I don't think my readers, or what I know of them, would expect me to Tweet. I write books that communicate. I don't need to tweet about it. Maybe people can Tweet about my books."