The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

Few narrators are as unreliable as Rachel. The main reason her memory and interpretation of events cannot be trusted is that she is an alcoholic. No-one, but no-one, has written so well about creeping hangover dread as Tom Wolfe: for journalist Peter Fallow in The Bonfire Of The Vanities, ‘whatever he had done was submerged like a monster at…

Landscape With Dead Dons by Robert Robinson

Robert Robinson is remembered now by people of a certain age (i.e. me) as the presenter of middlebrow TV quiz shows such as Call My Bluff and Ask The Family (the latter of which, as an aside, had the most extraordinary theme tune; whatever genius came up with the sitars clearly didn’t give a stuff about…

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson/Silver by Andrew Motion

In Ben Wheatley’s extraordinary English Civil War film A Field In England several men dig for treasure and instead, of course, find only death in a large hole. That same rule applies, more or less, to Treasure Island. The comparison may seem awry since the former is a violent, disturbing cinematic journey while the latter is thought of as a…