John Self

John Self is a book critic and lead fiction reviewer for The Critic. He lives in Belfast and tweets at @John_Self

All novels should be like this: stripped of the necessary but boring connective tissue

It’s time for our annual guide to the best new fiction of the year

Italo Calvino’s imagination spanned the cosmos but his concerns were very human

Spend time inside the mind of your most eccentric, sometimes maddening friend

A bit of lucky timing cannot be begrudged

Novels that say a lot without making lots of noise

1980s fiction might more profitably fill your beach-y or gîte-y afternoons

Ian McEwan has always tempered his shocking stories with polished prose

From an old-fashioned tale to a new-fashioned one, with a dash of dystopia

If you want spice without obscurity, or the 1990s unfiltered, why not read something written back then?