Nicola Field

It All Adds Up

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Review of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time', Mark Haddon, Jonathon Cape £10.99

'The world is full of obvious things, which nobody by any chance ever observes.' So says Sherlock Holmes, fictional detective - and supreme hero of Christopher Boone, the 15 year old protagonist of Mark Haddon's extraordinary and enthralling murder-mystery novel, which recently won the Whitbread Award for best book of 2003.

Dying for a Smoke

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Review of 'Cigarettes', Tara Parker-Pope, The New Press £9.95

I'll tell you why I like the cigarette business. It costs a penny to make. Sell it for a dollar. It's addictive. And there's fantastic brand loyalty.'

So said investment tycoon Warren Buffet. With damages payouts against tobacco companies now becoming commonplace, it is easy to forget that until nine years ago the companies making up the huge US tobacco industry, intensely competitive as they are, were united on one important point--they all insisted categorically that nicotine was not addictive and that the link between smoking and cancer was unproven.

Crossing the Divide

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Review of 'Crossing Jerusalem', by Julia Pascal, Tricycle Theatre, London

It's possible to interpret this riveting drama in various ways. Playwright Julia Pascal has created a fiction rooted in 'the everyday lives of Israelis and Arabs during the second Intifada' set in Jerusalem in March 2002, before the mass killings by Israeli occupying forces in Jenin. Specifically, she aims to examine the perspective of a generation of Israelis critical of their parents' Zionism and questioning Israeli government policy.

Tempestuous Text

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Review of 'The Duchess of Malfi' by John Webster, National Theatre, London and touring

Whenever a new production emerges of this famous Jacobean political thriller--stuffed with sexual intrigue, ritual torture, multiple murder and religious hypocrisy--audiences flock in, eager for a new twist on the bloodthirsty plot and tempestuous text.

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