Friday 26 April 2024

Here's my Substack piece for April, a personal essay about my parents' divorce and growing up in the 1970s: The Art of Escapism - How James Bond Can Help you Survive a Parental Divorce. Read it for free here

Friday 19 April 2024

I reviewed Whale Fall, Elizabeth O' Connor's visceral, politically-engaged novel set on a remote island off the Welsh coast in 1938, for the Guardian

Thursday 28 March 2024

My Substack essay for March is a piece about the pleasures and perils of having a favourite writer, through the prism of Hanif Kureishi's novella, The Nothing. Read Épater La Bourgeoisie for free here

Thursday 21 March 2024

Here's my take on Adelle Waldman's new novel, Help Wanted, her follow up to the sparkling The Love Affairs of Nathanial P from 2013, in the TLS

Thursday 7 March 2024

I reviewed Fervour, Toby Lloyd's debut novel of religious obsession and family implosion, in the Guardian

Friday 16 February 2024

A second Substack post from me: Thanks, I'll Take the Chair, a personal essay from a couple of years ago about therapy, trauma, and never giving up on writing. It was first published in the excellent Dodo Ink anthology Trauma: Essays on Art and Mental Health (2021). Read it for free here

Monday 5 February 2024

No one does love songs in age better than Howard Jacobson. Here's my verdict on his new novel, What Will Survive of Us, in the Literary Review

Thursday 11 January 2024

I loved Ruvani Ranasinha's Hanif Kureishi: Writing the Self, one of the best biographies of last year (or any year). Here's my review in the Spectator

Friday 5 January 2024

I will be reprising our excellent Margate Bookie event with my brother James Cook on Friday 2nd Feb 6-7.30pm at the legendary Soho Poly venue on Riding House Street. 

We'll be playing songs from James' memoir In Her Room: How Music Helped me Connect With My Autistic Daughter, along with readings from the book. Expect music from Beach Boys, Beatles, REM, our old band Flamingoes, and an exploration of autism and its relationship with music, followed by a Q&A. 

Tickets are £7 with the first drink free! Book here

So I've started a Substack for 2024. OVERCOOKED: Miscellaneous meditations on books, music, literary life and much else in between. Expect a new essay every month; some from the archive, but mainly new.

The first piece on literary posterity, The Kind Mistress: Posterity's Warm Embrace, is free to read here