How Cool Works in America Today

By David Brooks If you grew up in the 20th century, there’s a decent chance you wanted to be like Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Humphrey Bogart, Albert Camus, Audrey Hepburn, James Dean or Jimi Hendrix. In their own ways, these people defined cool. The cool person is stoical, emotionally controlled, never eager or needy, but instead…Read more How Cool Works in America Today

Secrets of LeCarre

photo: John le Carré has lived in Cornwall for four decades and declines most interview requests. Photograph: Adrian Sherratt/Rex Features Writer and occasional spy, John LeCarre has published his autobiography, The Pigeon Tunnel. Luke Harding Friday 2 September 2016 22.01 BST John le Carré was beaten up by his father and grew up mostly starved of…Read more Secrets of LeCarre

In Dubious Battle, a beckoning beacon

'At last it was evening. The lights on the street outside came on, and the Neon restaurant sign on the corner jerked on and off, exploding its hard red light in the air. Into Jim Nolan's room the sign threw a soft red light. For two hours Jim had been sitting in a small, hard…Read more In Dubious Battle, a beckoning beacon

Book Review: I’m Not One to Gossip, But…

As someone with experience on the front line of social diary gossip writing, my hat's off to John McEntee, who, as Jilly Cooper writes on the cover of his gloriously outrageous memoir, 'is one of the funniest men in the world.' With all the rapier wit he's used for the past thirty years writing some…Read more Book Review: I’m Not One to Gossip, But…

More thoughts on the writing of James Lee Burke

Ok, there are patterns that repeat themselves in the books of James Lee Burke, who carries a stock company of character actors, like film director, John Ford, who occupy, colour and drive his stories. First, there's Dave Robicheaux, the main protagonist in the twenty strong Robicheaux series. He's a flawed but principled character whose life…Read more More thoughts on the writing of James Lee Burke

Thoughts on the novels of James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels are never 'typical' crime novels. First, there's Robicheaux, a disgraced, former NOPD Homicide lieutenant turned sheriff's detective in Iberia Parish. Robicheaux is a good man with a chequered past; a Vietnam veteran and recovering alcoholic who carries traces of post-traumatic stress disorder and an unspecified, but lingering, guilt from…Read more Thoughts on the novels of James Lee Burke