0 In the Palm House Tony Sullivan (Deutsch £9.95) ‘Rodney would rather have good sight then second sight‘, but there‘s not much he can do about it. Not only is he privileged with glimpses of the dead. but he has an informal liaison with Christ who follows him like a shadow. and whispers startling asides over his shoulder.

From an Adrian Mole-style thirteen year-old. Rodney transforms into a thoughtful teenager with a burning vocation to become a priest. But the moment he enters the seminary. Christ‘s voice dies. and a few months later, while on pilgrimage. he is seduced by a middle-aged tourist. In a ‘five minute whirl on the Devil‘s merry-go-round‘ he loses his ideal of purity.

In The Palm House weaves between Rodney‘s seminary life. and his family back in Liverpool. whose ‘sorry plight . . . keeps me from God.‘ In this tense and discontented


most galleries are free.

household. he had been the lynchpin; his absence sees the fragile balance crumbling between his affair—riddled mother and his father. a dreamer living on hopeless plans. As their lives impinge on his cloistered spirituality. he is torn by the pull of normal life. and the Church‘s ascetic. sacrificial call. This is a rich and generous work: sharp. witty. yet compassionate. With an acute perception for character and mood. Sullivan sensitively evokes a working-class home in the early Sixties. and captures the tension and intensity of adolescence. Through the opening eyes ofan innocent, Sullivan questions the place and purpose of faith. As the fronds shiver back across the hothouse. he leaves you with a painfully hewn image of hollowness. (Rosemary Goring)

0 Arctic Dreams Barry Lopez (Picador £4.95) From Preface to Epilogue. Arctic Dreams holds you snared in the fierce and magical clutch of a land where ‘No summer is

Another is the fact that, thanks to subsidies,

And much of the real cost of theatre


Wild things are Maurice Sendak’s lorte. Kids look as it into a mirror and love them, prurient adults denounce them lor inducing nightmares. But there's not a hint of malevolence about the gap-toothed mischievous monsters which populate a handsome, newly-published book entitled simply

long enough to take away the winter‘. where. caught between ‘what is beautiful and what is terrifying‘ some have lost their sanity and others have found their life‘s desires.

In a rare and enthralling blend of scientific precision and poetic lyricism. Lopez draws a sharply


The Travelling Gallery is just one way we go

and concert tickets is paid for before you pay out of our way to make art more accessible to

for them.

The rest is met by the Scottish Arts Council, local authorities and private sponsors. Arts subsidies aren’t just for artists. They/re

for everyone.

Scottish Arts Council



Posters (Bodley Head £12.95). Most, says Sendak, were painted ‘in rare moments at relaxation,’ all convey a marvellous sense of fun. Whether it’s the ubiquitous wild things, cherubic babes orgiant roosters, his aim, ‘to turn a pompous occasion into a simple amusement,’ is splendidly achieved. It it were not such a terrible crime I’d scissor a lew out and frame them.

faceted picture. On an objective level he examines the Arctic‘s eco-systcm. the minutiae of its workings. from the subtlcst functions of polar bears and narwhals (the whale whose eight-foot tusk gave birth to the unicorn legend). to patterns of wildlife migration and current


42 The List 20 March 2 April