Books

A prelude to horror

By David Robson, December 3, 2015

The thousands of books, the billion-fold repetition of the word, the endless aggregation of memorialisation of the Holocaust can have a dulling rather than heightening effect. What more that is new can be said? What can we learn that we do not already know? What have we not seen? What have we not heard? How can those too young to remember - the vast majority - comprehend?

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Review: Let My People Go

By Colin Shindler, December 3, 2015

By Pauline Peretz (Trans: Ethan Rundell)
Transaction, £54.50

Joseph Stalin's last years were the "Black Years of Soviet Jewry". The trial and execution of the Yiddish writers, the Slansky trial of mainly Jewish Communists in Prague, and the infamous Doctors' Plot in January 1953, all characterised this period.

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Reviews: Don't Mention The Children and Notness

By Peter Lawson, December 3, 2015

Don't Mention the Children
By Michael Rosen
Smokestack Books, £8.95

Notness
By Richard Berengarten
Shearsman Books, £9.95

Michael Rosen is best known as a children's writer who, as the blurb to Don't Mention the Children rightly states, has mastered a "childlike seriousness", blending innocence with experience.

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At the end of a world

By Stoddard Martin, December 3, 2015

All For Nothing, by the late Walter Kempowski, now revived by Granta (£14.99), is set in a run-down manor near a main thoroughfare in East Prussia in January 1945. Its protagonists are normal, civilised yet blinkered gentry. The fearful thing is the approach of a vengeful Red Army.

Life in the manless household is relatively easy.

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Why boredom's my best therapy

By Bonnie Estridge, November 26, 2015

For a man who worked for 10 years in a family business retailing computers and calculators in the 1980s, the leap to becoming a successful specialist in the field of therapies such as Clinical Hypnotherapy, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and counselling has been a remarkable one for Michael Cohen.

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Review: Hysteria

By Ivy Garlitz, November 26, 2015

By Richard Appignanesi (words) and Oscar Zarate (illustrations)
Self Made Hero, £14.99

In Hysteria - the latest in the Graphic Freud series based on Freud's case studies - Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate explore the foundation of psychoanalysis.

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Israel's Agatha Christie

By Leigh Lewis, November 26, 2015

Morse, Wallander, Adam Dalgliesh, Michael Ohayon... Michael who?

You may not have heard of Chief Superintendent Ohayon, the introverted, cerebral hero of Israel's stand-out crime writer, Batya Gur. She wrote just six novels featuring the fictional head of Jerusalem's murder squad. Each depicts a different microcosm of Israeli society. Each unravels the truth about a killing within a community.

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Review: Heroic Measures

By Madeleine Kingsley, November 26, 2015

By Jill Ciment
Pushkin Press, £7.99

As the topographical star of Jill Ciment's novel, Heroic Measures, New York is indeed a wonderful town - but a town in chaos and under threat.

An abandoned fuel truck is blocking the main tunnel, and the missing driver may - or may not be - a bomb-toting terrorist.

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Zionism for the people

By Keith Kahn-Harris, November 19, 2015

Asher Ginsberg, the influential Zionist thinker better known by his pen name Ahad Ha'am ("One of the people"), died in 1927, long before the state of Israel had come into being.

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Review: eYE Marty

By Andrew Merriman, November 19, 2015

By Marty Feldman
Coronet, £20

Thirty three years after the death of the comedy writer and performer Marty Feldman, readers of this "newly discovered autobiography of a comic genius" should take heed of an early warning in it that "nobody's autobiography tells the whole truth… you lie about something you know about to make it more interesting."

But there is still much cand

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