In the latest issue:

Loathed by Huysmans

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: Five Victorian Marriages

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Fifteen days from now

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The Yorkists

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Whitehall Spookery

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Gordon v. O’Connor

Rupert Thomson


Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

Two PoemsCiaran Carson


we found Red Hand Commando
masks and combat uniforms
laid neatly in the attic

along with some bomb-making
literature and a token
cache of weeping gelignite

like their men had just gone off
to mutilate their hand-guns
with shipyard angle-grinders

and we had taken them at
their word for what it is worth
which is to say that peace comes

when there is no one left to
kill and words are the measure
of what has been delivered

whether in a language no
longer intelligible
or past all understanding

as we irresistibly
are drawn to the attic light
to contemplate the primrose

yellow decommissioned cranes
of the Titanic Quarter
under an iceberg blue sky


I push open the green door
to be taken aback by

the ku-klux of a cocked shot
gun echoing from the wings

deserted as it was night
I could not see my way to

whatever plot I’d stumbled
into or what sudden stage

I stood upon the pages
of the stuff I was to read

dissolving before my eyes
like a sackcloth face that burns

on a burning dummy’s head
whose bright upholstered body

writhes in the flames of its own
making and the whole theatre

now that the lights have come on
is waiting for me to speak

but I have brought the wrong book
try as I might not to read

the writing on all the walls
commissioned by holstered guns

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences