Kevin Power

Kevin Power

Paul Howard holds up a mirror to modern-day Middle Ireland

Paul Howard holds up a mirror to modern-day Middle Ireland

Page by page, line by line, these books are extraordinarily accurate and outstandingly funny

Search for empathy leads Bazalgette down a blind alley

Search for empathy leads Bazalgette down a blind alley

NON-FICTION: The Empathy Instinct: How to Create a More Civil Society, By Peter Bazalgette, John Murray, €15

Salman Rushdie loses his ear with fatally flat results

Salman Rushdie loses his ear with fatally flat results

Rushdie is an enormously intelligent writer, but it isn’t enough to redeem what turns out to be a slackly told, maddeningly circular tale

Doyle springs a surprise with brilliant simplicity

Doyle springs a surprise with brilliant simplicity

Fiction: Smile, By Roddy Doyle, Jonathan Cape, €17.25

Launching a full-frontal assault on Western anxieties

Launching a full-frontal assault on Western anxieties

Fiction: Borne, By Jeff Vandermeer, Fourth Estate, €17 Jeff Vandermeer never looked like a writ...

A perfect marriage between MacLaverty and the novel

A perfect marriage between MacLaverty and the novel

FICTION: Midwinter Break, By Bernard MacLaverty, Jonathan Cape, €14.95

A plea for a scientific utopia from a world-class hater

A plea for a scientific utopia from a world-class hater

Science In The Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist, By Richard Dawkins, Bantam Press, €20

Latecomer lacks conviction on the western crisis

Latecomer lacks conviction on the western crisis

HISTORY/ECONOMICS: The Retreat of Western Liberalism, By Edward Luce, Little, Brown, €19

Minds, morals, materialism and medullas oblongata

Minds, morals, materialism and medullas oblongata

Medicine: Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery, By Henry Marsh, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, €23

Short stories most successful when dealing with daily life

Short stories most successful when dealing with daily life

Fiction: Joyride to Jupiter, By Nuala O’Connor, New Island, €11.50

Arundhati Roy’s ambitious comeback falls short

Arundhati Roy’s ambitious comeback falls short

Cutesy, sentimental, poorly structured, unconvincing and desperately eager to please

Nothing matters in Kureishi’s novel about adultery

Nothing matters in Kureishi’s novel about adultery

FICTION: The Nothing, By Hanif Kureishi, Faber & Faber, €20

Laurent Binet's novel is trapped in a postmodern cul-de-sac

Laurent Binet's novel is trapped in a postmodern cul-de-sac

Some entertaining bits of thriller business but after those first hundred pages, things deteriorate

Tóibín’s Greek mythmaking puts his mastery on show

Tóibín’s Greek mythmaking puts his mastery on show

Fiction: House of Names, By Colm Tóibín, Penguin Viking, €17.25

A debut that whips up a skilfully spooky tale

A debut that whips up a skilfully spooky tale

A skilful, entertaining piece of work: a traditional ghost story in the best possible sense