(notably the NHS); privatization; pornography; penetrative advertising; drugs; ephemeral technology; and Nanny the right-wing MP (who. finally. is more Reagan than Thatcher). And drugs. When a cheap new narcotic hits the streets and the geriatric wards simultaneously. a horrifying farce ensues. redolent ofJames Herbert and Tom Sharpe. but ultimately a visceral and thrilling critique ofour harsh. uncaring society. (Andrew Burnet)

0 The Real Wagner Rudolph Sabor (Andre’ Deutsch £17.95) For those who belong to the not at all select group ofwanting to know more about Wagner but find him a formidable giant. Rudolph Sabor’s The Real Wagner is the ideal starting point. A neat, concise chronology of his complex life and an apty titled Principal Characters section lead straight into a simple explanation of the confusing difficulties facing everyone. including biographers. who wants to find even a little of the real Wagner. Historically fascinating. yet amusing and open. The Real Wagner deserves a dust-free space on the shelves of both Wagnerites and the as yet uninitiated. (Carol Main)


0 Conan Doyle Hesketh Pearson (Unwin £6.95) A short and snappy account (albeit with extensive quotation) of the life ofthe Edinburgh doctor who created the world‘s most famous detective in the lulls between patients. What it lacks in diligence it makes up for in style. though why there was such a hullabaloo when it was first published in 1943 beats me. O Conundrum Jan Morris (Penguin £2.95) The weird and wonderful story of how a father of five and The Times reporter with the 1952 Everest expedition made the ‘infinitely gradual‘ change into the woman he had always been. 0 The Scottish Thirties Charles McKean (Scottish Academic Press £8.50). A stunning evocation of one of Scotland‘s most distinctive architectural periods enhanced by a well-informed commentary and hundreds of photographs and drawings. 0 The Penguin Henry Lawson (Penguin £3.95) Lawson. as John Barnes notes in his Introduction. had Hemingway‘s essential prerequisites for an aspiring writer, ‘an unhappy childhood‘. He also had little formal education which meant he had few influences. ropey orthography and a well-tuned ear for everyday speech. He was the first to put on paper what


it meant to be Australian and could legitimately be described as the Burns ofthe Bush.

0 The Land that Lost its Heroes Jimmy Burns (Bloomsbury £12.95) Posted to Argentina as the Financial Times correspondent in 1981 Jimmy Burns anticipated a pampa‘d stay among the world‘s most notorious beef-eaters. Three months after he arrived Galtieri decided to divert criticism from his inept and corrupt military government by invading the Falklands. The rest is history. But Burns resists the temptation to start counting them all out and considers instead the political situation in Argentina before. during and after the conflict. He reveals a cynical regime hell-bent on retaining power and. with the complicity ofthe indigenous press. whipping up nationalistic hysteria to shroud its own horrific misdemeanours. The result is an enthralling and authoritative book which rather vindicates Thatcher's decision to dispatch the Task Force. but I doubt

whether Mr Dalyell will see it that way.

0 Forever England Beryl Bainbridge (BBC 9.95) Before Beryl's dad married her mum he was engaged to a woman called Ann Moss whom her mum nicknamed Animosity. There‘s little ofthat in this extended ‘book of the series‘ peep at halfa dozen families. three from the North and three from the South. More graphically than government statistics. Bainbridge draws a convincing portrait ofa divided nation while delving deep into her own piquant past.


The following events are part of the Poetry Live Scottish Programme 4—15 May 1987.

Tickets for Edinburgh events available from Waterstone‘s. George Street and James Thin. SouthBridge. Tickets from Glasgow events available from venues. Douglas Dunn 5 May. Book Trust. 15a Lynedoch Street. Glasgow. 6.30pm. £2 (£1).

Irina Ratusliinskaya, Carol Rumens, Gavin Ewart 6 May. Queen‘s Hall. Edinburgh. 7.30pm. £3 (£1.50). Carol Rumens, Gavin Ewart 7 May. Third Eye Centre, Glasgow. 1pm. £2 (£1).

Miroslav Holub, Marin Sorescu, David Constantine 9 May. New Calton Studios. Edinburgh. 7.30pm. £2.50 (£1.50).

Edwin Morgan, James Berry, Fred D'Aguiar 13 May. Assembly Rooms. Edinburgh. 7.30pm. £2.50 (£1). Fred D'Aguiar 14 May. Book Trust, 15a Lynedoch Street. Glasgow. 7.30pm. £2 (£1).

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The List 1— i4 May 57