Evening Standard (London)

Ian Thomson has written for the Evening Standard since 1987. In 2009 the London newspaper ended a 180-year history of paid circulation and became free. Here is a selection of recent reviews:

The shanty-town Napoleon with a gold-plated Uzi

10 September 2015

Nemesis: One Man and the Battle for Rio by Misha Glenny


Cocaine – and especially Britain – makes the drugs world go round

23 July 2015

Zero Zero Zero by Roberto Saviano


Looping around London on foot

28 May 2015

The Ginger Line: A Day’s Walk Round the London Overground by Iain Sinclair


The delinquents, vagabonds and insomniacs who tramp London by night …

26 March 2015

Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London by Matthew Beaumont


A master of the slow burn

Thursday 07 August 2014

Haruki Murakami’s latest novel goes to the heart of questions about human solitude and yearning to connect


Hensher leads us a very merry dance

Thursday 10 July 2014

Philip Hensher dilates entertainingly on the heady rush of poppers, Weimar Republic anti-Semitism and Dennis Nilsen


A lost boy from Leningrad pinpoints the immigrant’s plight abroad

Thursday 27 February 2014

Little Failure: A Memoir by Gary Shteyngart


So much more than a witness

Thursday 16 January 2014

Primo Levi: The Matter of a Life by Berel Lang


A spoof in the best tradition of spying

Thursday 12 September 2013

Expo 58 by Jonathan Coe


Blasted love lives and a family adrift in bedlam

Thursday 09 May 2013

Constance by Patrick McGrath


A great and mysterious writer celebrates his influences

Thursday 25 April 2013

W.G.Sebald’s essays. This slender collection of essays, first published in German in 1998, celebrates six figures who have influenced Sebald as a writer. He writes as ever in his trademark allusive prose of the melancholy of cultural displacement and yearning for home – yet the essays do not always translate agreeably into English, thinks Ian Thomson


Ryszard Kapuscinski: A Life

Thursday 30 August 2012

Ryszard Kapuscinski: A Life by Artur Domoslawksi trans Antonia Lloyd-Jones


Shrapnel, by William Wharton – review

Thursday 09 August 2012

Shrapnel, Wharton’s posthumously published war memoir, divulges a horrific episode from the past. In unsparing detail, Wharton describes a massacre of German prisoners that took place under his command in France at the war’s end.


A land of virtues and misdeeds

Thursday 28 June 2012

Good Italy, Bad Italy: Why Italy Must Conquer Its Demons to Face the Future by Bill Emmott


Scribe of Sixties London

Thursday 15 March 2012

Rub Out the Words: The Letters of William S Burroughs 1959-1974 edited by Bill Morgan


Dante In Love reminds us why Dante remains the patriarch of modern letters

Thursday 02 June 2011

Dante in Love by A.N. Wilson


True courage is battling boredom in Peoria

Thursday 21 April 2011

The Pale King by David Foster Wallace


Red Heat and the cold war

Thursday 31 March 2011

Red Heat: Conspiracy, Murder and the Cold War in the Caribbean by Alex von Tunzelmann


What it is to be Italian today

Thursday 24 February 2011

The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, its Regions and their Peoples by David Gilmour


A grim journey to Russia’s dark side in Three Stations

Thursday 03 February 2011

Arkady Renko, the ace Moscow detective, made his debut in the 1981 crime bestseller Gorky Park.


A sympathetic eye on London’s underclass

Thursday 02 December 2010

London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew edited by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst


And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks by William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac 

05 January 2009.

The beat writers and artists of 1950s America let out a breathy “yeah” for bebop and Jackson Pollock.


Delving deep into unstable waters 

06 June 2013.

The Sea Inside by Philip Hoare.


Lighting Italy’s dark side 

13 Jan 2003

Tobias Jones’s superb appraisal of Berlusconi’s Italy, The Dark Heart of Italy


Death and the dictator 

08 April 2002.

Mario Vargas Llosa’s marvellous new novel,The Feast of the Goat, is set in the Dominican Republic during the infamous Trujillo regime.


Fighting for Italy, not for Mussolini 

13 May 2002

Sebastian O’Kelly’s biography of an Italian combatant in Abyssinia.


Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town by Mary Beard 

26 September 2008.

Two thousand years ago, in 79 AD, Pompeii was buried under seven metres of volcanic debris when Vesuvius erupted.


The publisher who blew himself up

13 Nov 2001

Carlo Feltrinelli’s marvellous biography of his father Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, Senior Service.

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