Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

An arresting first two pages: a real-life dictator – who history tells us was not assassinated – is assassinated by a British woman at point-blank range in Germany in 1930. There is a jump-cut to 1910 and a baby is stillborn. Then another jump-cut and the same baby is born safely. She grows into a little girl,…

Planet Of The Apes by Pierre Boulez

  Rendering the translation from the French as Monkey Planet – which it was in some early editions – doesn’t quite seem to give this famous story the gravitas it deserves. Pierre Boullez apparently thought his book was unfilmable – and having finally read it, one can see why. It’s not just the difficulty of getting decent monkey costumes or coming…

Moab Is My Washpot / The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry

  The Life Of Stephen, Parts I and II: Stephen Fry is witty, intelligent, dishonest, impulsive, deep, shallow, kind, inconsiderate, English, Jewish…human. The title Moab Is My Washpot is something to do with Psalm 60. Best not to enquire too deeply. The Thieving Magpie would, as he admits, be as appropriate. Much easier to understand too. For…