Michael Amherst rss

Ballistics by DW Wilson is in the great tradition of outwardly macho but inwardly haunting epics, such as The Big Country - William Wyler's 1958 film - featured here.

‘Ballistics’ by D.W.Wilson is a novel about what it really is to be a man

14 August 2013 10:34

Ballistics is the debut novel from D W Wilson. It playfully and interestingly twists and pulls at the heart of what we understand about human relationships. This is rural Canada,… Continue reading

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Ian McEwan pictured in 1979. His generation of English writers generally worship at the altar of realism. (Photo by Mike Moore/Evening Standard/Getty Images)

What is the point of fiction if not to expand horizons?

8 April 2013 9:00

While Ian McEwan’s recent piece in the Guardian is not expressly termed a treatise on the value of art, it is hard to see it otherwise. What is the use… Continue reading


Having it both ways

3 October 2011 10:51

A new paperback edition of The Stranger’s Child is released today. Michael Amherst reviews the book. The failure of Alan Hollinghurts’s The Stranger’s Child to make the Booker shortlist has been… Continue reading


Creative writing courses made me a better reader

5 July 2011 9:35

As I came to the end of my English degree I applied to several universities for further study on Joseph Conrad, along with UEA for their creative writing programme. Owing… Continue reading

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More than just a pretty boy

19 April 2011 12:07

There seems to be something of a fashion at the moment in panning James Franco’s literary debut, Palo Alto. If you are looking for motives they are not hard to… Continue reading