Reviewer: CG

By this author

book September 23, 2017

Home Fire

Home Fire is a novel of such acute insight into our contemporary condition that it’s a bit of a shock to realise it’s based on a play written 2500 years ago. Author Kamila Shamsie signals her debt to Sophocles’ Antigone with her …

book September 16, 2017


A self-described “lanky, shaggy D-list” celebrity and dandy who strives to be Noël Coward but fears he is Steptoe, Tim Rogers, lead singer of You Am I, reveals that these days the “swagger” in his walk comes from two knee reconstructions. “This …

book September 02, 2017

The Book of Dirt

Bram Presser once came upon his grandfather in the backyard of his Melbourne home. The old man, a Holocaust survivor, was running his fingers through the dirt and incanting a prayer. Suddenly, he thrust a fistful of earth at the sky. When he turned, Presser …

book July 15, 2017

Draw Your Weapons

“War,” observes the American theorist and former theologian Sarah Sentilles, “is right here”: on the television, in the drone factory an hour’s drive from her home in Idaho, and in the form of an art student, Iraq war veteran and former Abu …

book June 24, 2017


Who hasn’t wondered: “Who am I?”? In Selfie, Will Storr asks: “What is ‘I’?” Storr, an award-winning British journalist and author of books including The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of Science, embarks …

book June 03, 2017

The Nothing

“I imagine things for a living,” remarks the narrator of The Nothing, “and the imagination is the most dangerous place on earth.” Waldo, once a famous and charismatic film director and rake, is now old and decrepit, the possessor of “most …

book May 20, 2017

New Philosopher, Issue 16

In the way of an amuse-bouche: the average Brit spends five hours a week watching television food programs but only four hours a week cooking; when noise exceeds 89 decibels, the brain has trouble discerning salty from sweet, but umami is unaffected by …

book May 13, 2017

The Only Girl in the World

The Etruscan god Orcus feasted on human flesh; his name inspired the French word “ogre”. The word makes its appearance very late in Maude Julien’s harrowing, heartbreaking, and against-all-odds uplifting memoir The Only Girl in the World, …

book April 08, 2017

The Songs of Trees

I want David George Haskell’s ears. He hears a hairy woodpecker working on green ash as “marching-band drummer, too stoned to care” and a pileated woodpecker, tapping away at the same tree, as “old man in no hurry to nail loose boards”; another …