Articles

Nov 25, 2001

You really must read this: Churchill and Ned Kelly, war and Atonement – will history defeat fiction this Christmas? Here, writers, Observer contributors and critics share their favourite books of 2001

Copyright 2001 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Observer

November 25, 2001

SECTION: Observer Review Pages, Pg. 5

LENGTH: 4822 words

HEADLINE: Review: Books of the Year: You really must read this: Churchill and Ned Kelly, war and Atonement – will history defeat fiction this Christmas? Here, writers, Observer contributors and critics share their favourite books of 2001

JON SNOW

I am no Philip Roth fan, but I found The Human Stain (Vintage pounds 6.99, pp384) brilliantly structured, coupling a certain darkness with really surprising twists. Peter Bergen’s Holy War Inc (Weidenfeld & Nicolson pounds 18.99, pp302) is a brilliant insight into the compromise, foul dealing and American misperformance that has played into the production of bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network. A must-read book to understand the true context of our present upheavals. For lighter relief Andy McSmith’s Innocent in the House (Verso pounds 13, pp311) is a sumptuous, barely fictional account of Commons life under New Labour – a filthy press, plenty of sex, and the politics ground to pieces in a highly readable vortex of coke snorting, spin doctoring a.nd intrigue. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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