Middle of the railroad

^^ A new biography of John Betjeman, the great chronicler of the English middle classes, is a judicious account of the late poet's life, loves and character. By Charles McGrath


Let it bleed

A new release by Ian Rankin, originally written under a pseudonym in the 1990s, is missing the polish and focus
of his later Inspector Rebus novels, writes Natalie Moore

Children's Books: Saga

  • 29 November 2006
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Conor Kostick's first novel, Epic, set all kinds of records in terms of monies and awards – €50,000 from Penguin USA for the American rights; a trip to China to accept the International Board on Books for Young People 2006 award and translations into all the major languages.
Saga, his second book, confirms the style and narrative skill of the debut novel, and will surely receive the same critical and financial success.

Where's the sting?

Despite having the knowledge and the power, Éanna Ní Lamhna fails to make any real statement about the environment, says Rosita Sweetman


Baker street regular

  • 22 November 2006
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A biography of the fictional character Sherlock Holmes displays the author's intricate knowledge of the subject but it fails to live up to expectations, writes Charles Taylor

Children's Books

  • 22 November 2006
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Goldilocks, the Babysitter from Hell. By Liam Farrell. Illustrated by Terry Myler The Children's Press, €5.95 (ages 6+)

Remembering the lost division

  • 22 November 2006
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Historian Philip Orr pays tribute to the Irish victims of the Gallipoli disaster in a superb new book writes Edward O'Hare