Reviews & features: Books

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Harder, better, faster, stronger - Iain M. Banks interview

5 Aug 2010

The Fife-born author on Led Zeppelin, bacon rolls

The Fife-born author of 24 sci-fi books and mainstream novels talks to The List about Led Zeppelin, bacon rolls and his continual surprise at being even slightly famous First record you ever bought There were three, the day after I persuaded my…

Andrew O'Hagan's novel looks set to be turned into a feature film

5 Aug 2010

The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, And of His Friend Marilyn Monroe

The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, And of His Friend Marilyn Monroe is not your run-of-the-mill contemporary novel, and not just because the eponymous first-person narrator is an aristocratic Maltese terrier with Trotskyist tendencies, owned by the…

Christos Tsiolkas' The Slap touched a few raw nerves

5 Aug 2010

He tells us how he tackled this multi-story tale.

Judge me once you’ve walked a mile in my shoes, the old saying goes. Well in his latest book, The Slap, Christos Tsiolkas hands us the literary equivalent of eight pairs of walking boots. Set in suburban Melbourne, the novel opens with a chapter devoted…

James Robertson - And the Land Lay Still

5 Aug 2010

One of Scotland's most vital authors tackles our Q&A

James Robertson has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize of 2006 for The Testament of Gideon Mack and has just published And The Land Lay Still.

Fatima Bhutto's Songs of Blood and Sword

5 Aug 2010

Benazir Bhutto's niece tells her criticizing story.

Mystery still surrounds the murder of Benazir Bhutto in 2007 but while people like her niece Fatima are around to ask questions, there’s always some chance that the puzzle might yet be solved. Not that Fatima has the family blinkers on as she was an…

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Festival Briefing 2010

30 Jul 2010

Some things we think might help you at this year's festivals

Here's a short briefing about some things to look forward to during the Book Festival, the Fringe, in Music events, and Shopping opportunities in Edinburgh

Penguin brings interactive puppetry to the Fringe

29 Jul 2010

Polly Dunbar's children books translate easily to stage

When writer and puppeteer Polly Dunbar creates her picture books, she’s got one eye on the page – and the other on the stage. ‘Although I’m not directly thinking of puppets whilst writing,’ she says, ‘I do keep performance in mind. Picture books are…

Alan Warner extract: Sullivan’s Ashes

23 Jul 2010

As part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, 50 authors have been commissioned to pen a short story or essay under the umbrella theme of ‘Elsewhere’. Here is an extract from Alan Warner’s Sullivan’s Ashes I wish for no funeral service but to…

Work by photographer Chris Close returns to 2010 Edinburgh Book Festival

21 Jul 2010

Portraits of visiting authors appear in Charlotte Square for second year

Chris Close, the photographer behind last year's successful 'almost live' photography display at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, is set to return to Charlotte Square this year with a new series of portraits of visiting authors. Visiting…

John Cooper Clarke back with new material for Festival

16 Jul 2010

Deadpan northerner sharper than ever for Edinburgh Fringe run

Just a few years shy of pensionable age, deadpan northerner John Cooper Clarke shows very little sign of slowing up. Neil Cooper talks to the Salford legend about keeping poetry alive

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Edinburgh Festival 2010: More Fringe show highlights

16 Jul 2010

Some of the shows to look out for at the Fringe

With over 2,400 shows to choose from at this years Fringe festival, it's all to easy to succumb to the paradox of choice. Here we present our picks for some of the smaller shows that are worth looking out for.

Will Self at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

15 Jul 2010

A is for Alice in Wonderland A voracious reader as a child, Will Self skipped between adult and kids’ fiction, including reading all 650 pages of Frank Herbert’s Dune at the age of ten. But the book that had the biggest impact on the mind of the young…

How American journalist Heather Brooke became a threat to UK democracy

15 Jul 2010

Five year investigation uncovers parliamentary expenses scandal

In the introduction to her book, The Silent State, Heather Brooke describes herself as a ‘nosey parker’. Whereas some people can’t walk past a curtain without needing to twitch it, Brooke has a yearning to poke around into the lives of those authority…

Martin Creed: Down Over Up - Edinburgh Art Festival

15 Jul 2010

The Turner Prize winner on his Festival work

Renaissance Man Martin Creed is on the Fringe and at the Book Festival as well as stirring up the art world this August. Rosalie Doubal hears from an artist who wants to fully explore the process of living

Meg Rosoff, John Green, Tohby Riddle and Cathy Cassidy at the Edinburgh Book Festival

15 Jul 2010

Writers doing it for the big kids

Meg Rosoff might be known as a successful author for young adults, but it’s not necessarily a category with which she’s comfortable. ‘Recently, I re-read To Kill a Mockingbird for its 50th anniversary,’ she says. ‘If that was published now, it would be…

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An overview of the 2010 Edinburgh Festivals and their directors

15 Jul 2010

What to expect from Edinburgh in August

Nowhere does a festival quite like Edinburgh, and even with the film folk having long moved out of August, there is more than plenty going on for lovers of art, literature, comedy, theatre, kids entertainment, music, dance and military displays. The…

Further Edinburgh Book Festival highlights 2010

15 Jul 2010

In addition to events featuring Will Self, Heather Brooke and youth fiction-writers Tohby Riddle, John Green, Meg Rosoff, Cathy Cassidy there are plenty more highlights in the Edinburgh Book Festival programme.

Edinburgh Festival anniversaries in 2010

15 Jul 2010

Anniversaries abound at this years festival, not least the the Comedy Awards and Assembly Rooms, both of which celebrate their 30th years.

Edinburgh Book Festival's Unbound invites fresh approach from DisComBoBuLate, Irregular and Gutter

7 Jul 2010

Here at List Towers we love a bit of innovation, and this year’s festivals appear to be bringing it in spades. Case in point, the Book Festival’s all-new Unbound. Taking a refreshingly out-of-the-box approach, over 18s are invited to a nightly free…

Nick Cave makes Irregular appearance in Edinburgh

24 Jun 2010

No, you didn’t just hallucinate that. Nick Cave’s popping down to the Roxy. This Canongate Books/Edinburgh International Film Festival multimedia event brings the Aussie music/film/literature icon, who will be reading from his novel, The Death of Bunny…

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Don’t Look Now - Ed. Paul Newland

16 Jun 2010

(Intellect Press) Don’t Look Now is a work of low-key persuasion; it wants to convince us that seventies British cinema wasn’t an aesthetic dire strait, but a forking path of numerous possibilities. The decade may have given us film versions of On…

Nick Cave book reading announced for Edinburgh International Film Festival 2010

15 Jun 2010

Musician and author Nick Cave will be appearing at the 2010 Edinburgh International Film Festival. He will be reading from his book The Death of Bunny Munro, published by Edinburgh-based publisher Canongate. The reading will be part of the…

Will Self - Liver And Other Stories

17 Sep 20093 stars

Moments of brilliance are too often lost

'If you are offended by a certain four letter word beginning in 'c' and ending in 't',' Will Self addresses his salt-and-pepper Edinburgh Book Festival audience, 'I suggest you leave now. If you are of a nervous or emotional disposition, I suggest you…

Margaret Atwood - The Year of the Flood

2 Sep 2009

Author launches new work at Edinburgh Book Festival

The Flood which Margaret Atwood brings to an already soggy Charlotte Square gardens is, in fact, a waterless one. It is not sent by a punitive, Old Testament God but rather by scientists of the near future playing Him. Two isolated women, Toby and…

Kids events at the Edinburgh Book Festival

23 Aug 2009

Some big names are rolled out for the final week

With the final embers of the Book Festival starting to do that fading away thing, there are some sparkling treats to occupy the bairns with before Charlotte Square Gardens loses the tents. The Gruffalo’s Birthday (30 Aug) has writer Julia Donaldson and…