Jonathan O’Brien

Jonathan O’Brien

TV: A journey to the dark heart of Naples

TV: A journey to the dark heart of Naples

There is surely nothing darker on television right now than Gomorra (Sky Atlantic). Many crime dramas strive desperately to achieve this level of bleakness; almost all of them fail miserably

A craftsman captures the smallness of American life

A craftsman captures the smallness of American life

Russo's collection of three short stories and novella, while not always wrapping themselves up in satisfying conclusions, are still a pleasure to read.

Putin as monster? Maybe, but not such a big one so far

Putin as monster? Maybe, but not such a big one so far

Current Affairs: The Future Is History, By Masha Gessen, Granta, €20

TV: Getting a glimpse of blue heaven

TV: Getting a glimpse of blue heaven

Slightly soft-focus and uncritical Blues Sisters may have been, but it was also uplifting and well-made, with its share of ingenious and memorable shots

Television Review: When two into one won’t go for TV3

Television Review: When two into one won’t go for TV3

The current Tonight Show set-up is like having two coaches managing a football team

TV: Mixed results for Spittle as she brings it all back home

TV: Mixed results for Spittle as she brings it all back home

Nowhere Fast feels solid, but not spectacular; capable, but not coruscating

Graeme Souness settles a few old scores

Graeme Souness settles a few old scores

Now a regular on Sky Sports, Souness has mellowed from the days when he committed acts of wanton insanity as part of his weekly routine

An entertaining run through the long and the short of Gooch’s journey

An entertaining run through the long and the short of Gooch’s journey

AutoBiography: Gooch: The Autobiography, By Colm Cooper, Transworld Ireland, €23

Return trip to Munich pays off for old hand Harris

Return trip to Munich pays off for old hand Harris

Fiction: Munich, By Robert Harris, Hutchinson, €23

A wave that killed thousands and crushed many more

A wave that killed thousands and crushed many more

Reading Ghosts of the Tsunami is a grim experience at times but, not unlike those grisly clips on YouTube, it’s very difficult to tear yourself away

TV: Tears for souvenirs in 1980s Stockholm

TV: Tears for souvenirs in 1980s Stockholm

Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves differs in several significant ways from the kind of thing you normally find clogging up the parched summer schedules

TV: Art imitates life in a game of drones

TV: Art imitates life in a game of drones

'The increasingly heavy reliance on deus ex machina plot devices is siphoning suspense out of the story'

Wistful Winton looks back at the Australia of his spiritual youth

Wistful Winton looks back at the Australia of his spiritual youth

Essays: The Boy Behind The Curtain, By Tim Winton, Picador, €23

Bill Cosby: Bringing down a TV titan

Bill Cosby: Bringing down a TV titan

A quietly devastating piece of television

Television: How a once-great show was Trumped

Television: How a once-great show was Trumped

While this is still an undeniably well made show, it’s hard to give a hoot what goes on in it