30 October 2009 0 Comments

Review: The year’s best Police procedural

Strange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo and PygmiesBy Stewart CopelandPublisher UK: The Friday Project US: HarperStudio Just because I write crime fiction doesn’t make me obsessed by The Police. However, this new memoir by The Police drummer is absolutely the most delightful surprise of the year. Copeland writes with the same verve […]

31 July 2009 0 Comments

Just like the (good?) old days

With US diplomats roaming the streets of Jerusalem, it’s like the intifada never happened.By Matt Beynon Rees – GlobalPost JERUSALEM — It’s like the intifada never happened. American diplomats mobbed the streets of Jerusalem this week. Even Iran point man Dennis Ross, whose sad-sack demeanor was a frequent feature of the Oslo peace process, stopped […]

25 June 2009 0 Comments

Stranger than zinc bars and literary fiction

Foreign correspondents are always more enthusiastic about Beirut than about Amman. Just like critics prefer “literary” fiction to crime novels. It seems to me they’re both wrong, and for the same reasons. Visiting reporters always rave about Beirut. Mainly because there’s a very un-Middle Eastern nightlife there. Zinc bars. Beautiful girls in spaghetti-strap tops beside […]

5 August 2006 0 Comments

Merry Christmas from the Sheikh

When you meet a Hezbollah leader in Beirut, his aides first make you wait a few days, assessing your intentions and making sure you aren’t a spy or an assassin. Then, when the time comes for the interview, they take you either in a car or on foot through the alleys of Beirut’s southern suburb […]