Obviously Alan Hollinghurst’s The
Stranger’s Child is a masterpiece. So is Ian Donaldson’s Ben Jonson. But having already said as much in these
pages, I mention them only in passing. You’re less likely to have heard about Grant Morrison’s clever, passionate Supergods, but I urge it on you if you have any
interest in myth, magic, comic-book culture or the question of why you’d put nipples on a Batsuit.
I was grateful to the Man Booker judges, maligned as they have been, for shortlisting Patrick DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers, which I’d not have read
otherwise. It’s wonderfully funny and original. Oh, and there’s The Pale King, too. Craig Raine dismisses David Foster
Wallace as a spliff-addled second-rater in the latest Arète, but I think Craig is (as only rarely) quite wrong.