o The Boys in Maroon John Fairgrieve (Mainstream £4.95); Glorious Hearts Edited by Mike Aitken (John ; Donald £7.95) Blow by blow . accounts (with the final blow coming at Hampden on 6 April) of Hearts' season which resulted in the longest unbeaten run in the Premier League and the sight ofgrown men crying in Princes Street. Fairgrieve‘s is , anecdotal (‘No weaknesses.‘ snorts Sandy Jardine, referring to Craig Levein. ‘That‘ll be right. How about the time he was sick on one ofour carpets?) and contains the complete lyrics to ‘The Hearts Song‘ which was never a Eurovision Song Contest contender. Whether that makes it a better buy than Mike Aitken’s compilation of match reports is debatable but true Maroons followers will probably want both. No doubt neutrals and cynics are muttering about counting chickens before they‘re in the net.
; ShonelFerguupingforGoldin 982 a
t 0 Boycott Don Mosey (Penguin
2 £2.95) Since Botham‘s latest dust-up ' with the MCC, the glare ofpublicity on Geoff Boycott has died down.
i Mosey’s warts and all full toss rakes over the ashes and judges Boycott
E out, leg before wicket. ‘Now, ifthere is one criticism that can above all others be levelled at Geoffrey
‘, through the whole of his career it is
5 his claim that everyone has been out of step except him.’ Depending on
i where you stand the internal wrangles of Yorkshire are either as dull as a no ball or civil war. But Mosey will (together with the Radio 3 commentary team) make the storms between the lulls bearable this summer. Michael Parkinson is mentioned twice.
0 Lester: The Official Biography Dick Francis (Michael Joseph £12.95) Francis canters over a remarkable racing career preferring to skirt hurdles — Piggott’s reputed tight-fistedness, brushes with the
sponrv TYPES “
Sylvie Bemier curls up and dives
stewards and the filching of other jockeys‘ mounts— rather than confront them head on. Based on ‘conversations‘ with its notoriously brusque subject the result is a bland but informative book which reads like a elegantly written press release.
0 Leave the Fighting to McGuigan Jim Sheridan (Penguin £2.50) A body-blow to those who believe that McGuigan’s world feather-weight champonship success is down to his father‘s KO‘ing opponents with his pre-fight rendition of ‘Danny Boy‘. Another ‘Official Biography’, emotional but, as one would expect from a Fringe First winner. not lacking in drama or wit.
0 The Official Commonwealth Games Book (The Commonwealth Games Consortium Ltd £4.95) Replete with reminiscences, records, medal tables and a guide to venues this is a must for the Games‘ enthusiast. There are umpteen colour snaps, from a bloody John Conteh to a plaster-toed Zola Budd, though nothing quite matches the news that June Croft a swimming gold medallist in 1974 had the same initials as Joyce Cooper. who had similar succes in 1930. (Clive Yellowjohn)
0 A Game of Hide and Seek Elizabeth Taylor (Virago £3.50) The love story of Harriet and Vesey, beginning when they are still children and enduring through long separation and other tribulations into middle age. Described, justifiably, by Elizabeth Bowen. as ‘a single book‘ which merges the elements in Persuasion and Wuthering Heights. For once a Virago novel which lives up to its cover.
0 Hermit oi Peking: The Hidden Life of Sir Edmund Backhouse Hugh Trevor-Roper (Papermac £6.95)
The incredible story of the Victorian sinologist. proﬂigate. forger. confidence trickster and eccentric, brilliantly reconstructed and as suspenseful as a crime novel. First published before the Hitlers Diaries‘ hoax tarnished Roper's reputation.
0 Doug Cocker: Sculpture and Related Works 1976—86 (Third Eye Centre £4) Survey of a decade‘s productivity by one of Scotland's most inventive. skilled and respected sculptors. generously illustrated and filled out with text by Michael Tooby, Richard Chapman and the sculptor himself. 0 Colette Allan Massie (Penguin £2.95) Compressed biog (and none the worse for it) of the music-hall mite who turned to writing when husband Willy declared ‘there‘s not a sou in the house’. The rest. as they say, is history.
0 Tales of Horsemen R. B. Cunninghame Graham (Canongate £3.95) Ten saddle-sore stories by the Dorian Williams of fiction. When a Liberal MP he eschewed hansom-cabs and rode to Parliament but those were pre-meter maid days. and manure more common outside the House than in.
0 Private Angelo Eric Linklater (Buchan and Enright £5.95) More a
soldier ifrather than ofFortune, Angelo ‘fought’ for Mussolini as Schweik did for his Czech masters in the war to end all wars. Like Schweik. Angelo accentuates the comic though the message is the same.
0 The Beast Sharman Macdonald (Collins £8.95) Novels with wholly unsympathetic characters about whom one neither cares nor gives a damn are — mercifully — uncommon. Sharman Macdonal gives early warning. her first sentence (‘Roger withdrew from Jade‘) a harbinger of what‘s not to come. Poor Roger, obese. moulting and perspiring, is condemned forever. to employ a local euphemism. to get aff at Paisley. Quite what he sees in Jade is not immediately apparent. Perhaps it‘s her beauty. for everyone recognises it. Perhaps for her ‘famous salads‘. but given his generous proportions Roger must supplement them with stodgier fare. Their peculiar relationship is built round appearances and she who dwells in a wokless Habitat paradise will not be messed about. A Body Shop regular, she hates to be dry, hates to be sticky and insists on Roger clearing all trace of his emissions from ‘the purity of her belly‘.
— SKYE GROUSE
Skye: The Island James Hunter and Callean Maclean (Mainstream £10.95) When ‘white settlers’ describe Skye as unspoiled James Hunter’s blood boils. It implies that the island has been forever a wilderness when, intact, it provided a living, however meagre, for many thousands of Gaels until the traumatic clearances forced them to leave ‘in the reluctant manner of all the world’s dispossessed before and since.’
Eloquently arguing for the ‘adoption of management strategies which safeguard the island’s natural resource and the island's human population’ Hunter, ably abetted by Callean Maclean’s dark, brooding photographs, portrays Skye unromantically, seeing nothing attractive in black houses of
backwardness. He discusses sensibly
the perilous state of Gaelic, the need for self-confidence and lorthe people to be allowed to determine their own future, in charge of the land. He holds no truck with the selfish conservationist lobby but his real grouse is with the old lairds solely intent on the ‘improvement of their revenues)
As he travels around the island, a la recherche du temps perdu, his commitment to the cultural and economic revitalisation of Skye becomes more and more apparent. Old attitudes die hard but he finds evidence at Sabhal Mor 0staig, the Gaelic College, and in the vision of elightened modern landowners, that Skye is beginning to take the future into its own hands. (Alan Taylor)
34 The List 13 — 26 June