James Meek

James Meek is a contributing editor at the LRB. His most recent novel is To Calais, in Ordinary Time.

One morning​ in Manchester, in November 2023, a young man went looking for a place to stay. He’d lost his job and couldn’t pay the rent on his flat. When he asked the council for advice, they told him to stay put. He did, until the bailiffs came and changed the locks. He slept rough in a train station. He was on drugs. His phone was stolen; he told the police but there was an...

Short Cuts: Thames Water

James Meek, 9 May 2024

We​ needed a new bathroom, and found some plumbers – interesting, attractive young men with remarkable stories to tell about their lives and travels around the world. The most interesting of them – S.’s sister described him as ‘a hot mess’ – went home after work one evening having forgotten to tighten a nut, which led to a leak and the near collapse of...

From The Blog
26 March 2024

Mass murder at a Moscow light entertainment venue, where 140 people were gunned down at point blank range as they gathered to watch the nostalgic rock of the elderly band Picnic, may have promoted the long hand of Islamic State Khurasan Province to donors and potential recruits, but it changes nothing for the organisation where it most wants things to change, at home.

Two Armies in One: What now for Ukraine?

James Meek, 22 February 2024

When​ General Valery Zaluzhny, then Ukraine’s senior military commander, spoke in November of a stalemate, it was widely taken in the West as a signal that the war was frozen in all but name: that Ukraine and Russia had reached their fighting limits, that Russia could invade no further and Ukraine could liberate no more. Ukraine’s southern summer counteroffensive had fallen far...

Iread​ Peter Biskind’s book about the New Hollywood, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, long ago. Apart from scraps of celebrity anecdote, what I remember of it now is something more diffuse, a mood associated with the mysterious figures of the producers: an impression of flared trousers and shirts with the two top buttons undone, collar points two feet apart, of tanned white skin, gold, nice...

Planes, Trains and SUVs: James Meek

Jonathan Raban, 7 February 2008

James Meek’s last, bestselling novel, The People’s Act of Love, published in 2005 to great critical acclaim, was set in 1919, in ‘that part of Siberia lying between Omsk and...

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Dynamite for Cologne: James Meek

Michael Wood, 21 July 2005

James Meek’s early fiction is alert, acrid and funny, and only slightly too insistent on its own quirkiness – as if it were hoping reviewers would call it surreal (they did) and...

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