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Cecily Cecily

Writing Worth Reading

David Eggers: The Circle

Admiring review of a novel which has had a largely hostile critical reception. “The Circle is a deft modern synthesis of Swiftian wit with Orwellian prognostication. That is not to say the writing is without formal weaknesses – Eggers misses notes like an enthusiastic jazz pianist. But The Circle is a work so germane to our times that it may well come to be considered as the most on-the-money satirical commentary on the early internet age” (900 words)

The Relentless Charm Of Nigel Farage

“Close up, he smells of tobacco, offset with a liberal application of aftershave.” Out and about with Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, steering Britain towards an exit from the EU. “Ukip is indeed a rag tag bag — but not of fruitcakes; rather, of cussed, contrary, wilful, protesting, obstreperous, bantering Englishmen and women, the like of which have been with us all the way back to The Canterbury Tales(3,699 words)

Model Britain

Backstage at London Fashion Week. It all looks pretty silly. And it is. Flounce and affectation. But take a step back. What’s really being marketed here is Brand Britain. Fashion is part of the skill-set, just like football

Among The Russians

Charming, light-touch account of meeting of European writers at Tolstoy family estate. Talk concerns the great man, the position of writers in the West and Russia, and the state of literary prizes. Much laughter, and vodka, ensue

Flash Fish

Welcome to the weird world of aqua-scaping. Sales of high-end aquaria are booming, particularly amongst young men. Items sold include “a £3m aquarium made from solid gold and mammoth tusk”. The fish alone can cost up to £250,000

Floating Voter

Gorgeously funny piece about mediocrity of British election contenders. “David Cameron? A private gynaecologist. Nick Clegg? British Airways short-haul pilot of the year, 2010″

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