Donna Tartt’s ‘The Goldfinch': simply a good read

Donna Tartt, author of The Goldfinch I enjoyed reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, remaining gripped throughout its 800-odd pages.  Whether the novel amounted to a great deal more than a thoroughly good read: of that I’m doubtful.  The question only arises because of the serious issues hinted at, but not developed in any significant way, in … Continue reading Donna Tartt’s ‘The Goldfinch': simply a good read

The Circle: so cool, but closing in on our private lives

Google campus, California: illustration by Karl Edwards Studio The revelations contained in the Snowden files alerted us to power of government surveillance to use the web to break our privacy and track our every move, our thoughts.  Tim Berners-Lee told the Guardian last year: When you think about privacy you have to think about how intimate our use … Continue reading The Circle: so cool, but closing in on our private lives

Offshore: a ‘sodden, melancholy, and yet enduring spirit’

Penelope Fitzgerald. Photograph by the Observer’s Jane Bown Sometimes there seem to be harmonics, mysterious overtones that astonish.  On the train down to London I read Penelope Fitzgerald’s Offshore, chosen for the trip simply because it was short and would travel lightly.  It tells the story of a group of eccentrics who live on riverboats … Continue reading Offshore: a ‘sodden, melancholy, and yet enduring spirit’