... and four other things you need to know about this week, including the final unveiling of 50 Shades, the TV show to take down Downton, and folk music's most outlandish alter-egoMore
Don’t expect easy answers from this new novel from Denis Johnson, National Book Award-winning author of Tree of Smoke, given that his protagonist, Roland Nair, is a supremely slippery character. We meet him in Uganda where he’s on the hunt of his old acquaintance Michael Adriko – friend or foe is not quite clear – at the behest of the obscure spy agency he’s kinda sorta working for.
Roland and Michael, and Michael’s glamorous fiancée, end up cavorting around Africa on a mission that’s a bit dark, a bit scary, but also – in a landscape of postcolonial corruption and chaos – a bit of a wheeze. Just don't expect to find out how they take their martinis.
Out on 12 February (Harvill Secker)
If you’ve ever tried to read EL James’ erotic bonkbuster 50 Shades of Grey, you’ll realise that A) It’s written like something on an internet message board, and B) Your mum’s a perv. Which means that Sam Taylor-Johnson’s film adaptation, starring Dakota “daughter of Don and Melanie” Johnson and Jamie “would look good in a napkin” Dornan, is pretty much definitely going to be better than the book, even if its terrible.
On Friday you’ll get the chance to decide for yourself if it has been transformed into a searing satire of power, sex and intimacy in the 21st century, or if it’s still thinly veiled excuse for some private lady time. Maybe don’t take your mum.
Out in cinemas on 13 February