What A Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe

‘What, so we were great then and we’re shit now?’ The quote comes from The Big Chill but it might as well serve as a one-line précis of Jonathan Coe’s best-known and wildly over-praised novel, What A Carve Up! The Winshaws, an upper class Yorkshire dynasty, are a terrible shower. Michael Owen, a writer obsessed…

Greenmantle by John Buchan

1916. Richard Hannay is recuperating from injuries sustained at Loos. Hannay, you recall, is the doughty hero of The Thirty-Nine Steps. Sadly, Greenmantle does not have the simple narrative line of that fine chase novel. Instead, Hannay is sent on a mission to Turkey to try to stop Germany’s secret weapon, which is a….well, it’s a sort…