Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? review – Dave Eggers’s accomplished hostage drama

For The Guardian A doubting Thomas kidnaps and interrogates significant people in his life in Dave Eggers’s ambitious, dialogue-only novel Dave Eggers is a one-man essay in the value and virtue of a life in writing in the 21st century. This is his third published novel in three years. And yet his work never drops below…

The Circle by Dave Eggers – review

Written for The Guardian:   Could this be the most prescient satirical commentary on the early internet age yet? In a recent essay published in these pages, Jonathan Franzen inveighed against what he sees as the glibness and superficiality of the new online culture. “With technoconsumerism,” he wrote, “a humanist rhetoric of ’empowerment’ and ‘creativity’ and ‘freedom’ and…

James Hunt v Niki Lauda: my summer of speed

My father and I set out just before dawn. It is 18 July 1976, and I have recently celebrated my fourth birthday. Already, there are hundreds of people afoot. We are walking across the Kentish downs and the world is turning ghost-blue around us. We are carrying scaffolding, heading towards the entrance to Brands Hatch to witness the greatest drivers…

Here Come The Druids

Written for Prospect Magazine:   I am on the rail replacement bus service outside East Midlands Parkway train station, which itself lies resplendent beneath the ravishing architectural solicitation that is Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in the rain. I am on the top deck with three other men. One has a gold tooth, another a shaven head…

Flash Fish

This is the age of aquariums: young men are paying a fortune to “aqua-scape” their indoor fish tanks—and parting with up to £250,000 for a single fish. Why?  Written for Prospect Magazine:   We’re waiting for the suicide fish. It is Monday night. We’re in expensive territory—Notting Hill, west London—and we’re staring at a huge…

Lost in Translation

  Novelist Edward Docx had to know what it feels like to be lost—truly lost—in the Amazon. So he went to Brazil and hired some men to leave him in the jungle. Written for Prospect Magazine:   Our troubles began with the translator. Undeniably, José was a well-meaning man with a great many characteristics that the…