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Bevington’s latest book seeks to trace the history of Shakespeare’s Hamlet from its roots in Scandinavian epic lore, right the way up to present day postmodernist readings. The book uses a chronological structure to approach this mine of information, splitting the centuries into 7 chapters of around 30 pages each (so if, say, you’ve got […]

After great success with The Victorians, Wilson attempts to capture the spirit of the Elizabethan era in this single-volume work, aptly titled The Elizabethans. As a History student, I have come to be extremely wary of condensed historical narratives but Wilson’s new survey of the period proved to be an interesting and entertaining read. Wilson […]

I once tweeted that – IMHO – Mary Karr was a better writer than Joan Didion, and the latter retweeted me. There a lesson here beyond ‘Watch what you say or L.A Matriarchs that refuse to die might find you and eviscerate you while you sleep’, and that is: get over yourselves, Twitter-haters. Even if […]

It was with definite stammering and hesitation that I evasively explained to my ‘plus one’ we were going to a show – about? Ah. Clearly should have based my opinion on more than just ‘Nuns, Italy, and the sixteenth century’. They have live music I said, and actors, I think. I prayed in the bathroom. Let it be good, […]

Famous for its eclectic and numerous institutions, the presence of some of the most renowned authors in Britain and, um, loads of people talking about books and stuff over tea, Manchester Literature Festival literally appeals to all ages and there is plenty that will interest students. For any of you who have just arrived at […]

The blurb of The Doll Princess proclaims author Tom Benn as ‘an assured and exhilarating new voice in literary crime fiction’. However, classifying this novel as ‘literary’ works massively to its detriment and sets any prospective readers off on the wrong foot. Take its protagonist, Henry Bane, whose hard-bitten narration calls to mind a Mancunion […]

What I read about The Art of Fielding (TAOF) in online reviews: Henry Skrimshander is a young baseball genius who might just be good enough to lead perennial no-hopers Westish College all the way to the championship. But – uh-oh! – one bad throw causes him to lose his nerve! There are also 4 other […]

I don’t want to like this book. Not because it’s not a lucid, compelling collection of stories – I just don’t know what it says about me if I do. Rachel Kendall’s slivers of contemporary gothic feature mutant births, rape fantasies, acts of bestiality and gobbled-up grandparents. All varnished with the achingly beautiful imagery more […]

Opening proceedings at the second week of the festival was a highly alluring premise, not just on account of the fascinatingly depraved subject material, but also as an opportunity to gain insight into a sweeping craze of modern literature – an evening with three prolific authors of Nordic crime fiction. With unprecedented influence, now reaching into American cinema (The […]

With a delightfully flamboyant and glamorous reputation, Canal Street is the beating heart of Manchester’s gay scene. The rich and often complex history of Canal Street has been transformed into a collection of ten stories to celebrate the 21st anniversary of Manchester’s Gay Village.  ‘Canal Street Gothic’ attempts to juxtapose the bright lights and bustling […]

Book Club

This week, Steve Jones talks to Georgia Haire, a 3rd year History student who is preparing for winter by immersing herself in the doom and gloom of Jean Rhys. What are you reading, who’s it by and what’s it about? ‘Quartet’ by Jean Rhys. Marya is living in 1920s Paris with her reckless husband. When […]