0 0n Boxing Joyce Carol Oates (Bloomsbury £9.95) Discursive essay on the art of fisticuffs which ranks as only the seventh most deadly ‘sport’ in the US. Fuzzy photos and pearls ofwisdom help it go the distance but as the writer retires to Pseuds' Corner fight fans might feel they‘ve been short-changed.
0 Taking Chances M. J. Farrell (Molly Keane) (Virago £3.95) Chandleresque dialogue. a heroine who confides in dogs and eventually goes to them. attempted abortions and Ugandan manoeuvres among the toffee-nosed Irish. First published when Wall Street collapsed.
o Shootdown: The Verdict on ital 007 R. W. Johnson (Unwin £3.95) On 1 September 1983 a Korean Airline Boeing 747 was shot down by a Soviet fighter and plunged into the Sea ofJapan. 269 passengers and crew were killed. The official explanation was that it had drifted off course and been mistaken for a military plane. Johnson smells a rat and provides information to suggest that the plane was involved with covert activities on behalfofthe White House. It‘s no more implausible than Irangate but there is not enough evidence even in this enthralling book to get a conviction, though it should be getting more attention than it has.
0 Against Interpretation Susan Sontag (Andre Deutsch £5.95) Classic collection of critical essays including notes on style. camp (the limp wrist variety). film and ﬁction, and anti-interpretations of Natahalie Sarraute. Sartre and Jean Luc Godard. Essential for eggheads.
0 Gate Fever: Voices From 3 Prison James Campbell (Sphere £2.95) For four months the former editor of New Edinburgh Review visited Lewes jail and was allowed to talk freely to staff and prisoners. Sifting fact from fantasy. he resists the temptation to indulge in amateur
sociology but the pain of confinement is omnipresent and beautifully expressed.
0 Battle For Britain Ian Hislop and Nick Newman (Andre Deutsch £2.95). Rush-released to coincide
with the Election. the collected strips
from Private Eye. transposing the story of the struggle for power since the last vote on to a six-frames-a-page ‘War Picture Library‘ comic. featuring plucky
and the rest pitched against the evil Thatcher.
0 Fire Child Sally Emerson (Michael Joseph £9.95) Fire Child is the sorry tale ofTessa Armstrong. a young girl sorely afﬂicted by a surfeit of brains. beauty and devastating sexual powers. As we are drawn into Tessa's amoral world via her diaries and those of her soulmate Martin Sherman. the more tedious her story becomes— not just because the characters are mostly unsympathetic but because they all seem to coalesce into one self-obsessed voice. The language in this novel strikes a curiously anachronistic note — contemporary characters uttering lines like. ‘I am at an age when one quite wants a broken heart.’
Despite its smouldering, subterranean passions and dramatic
MARILYN AMONG FRIENDS
It seems there’s no end to books offering new evidence of Marilyn Monroe’s lifelong affair with the camera. And yet again, in Marilyn Among Friends (Bloomsbury £14.95), with pictures by Sam Shaw and text by Norman Rosten, she redefines the meaning of photogenic. Both these men were friends not lovers - Bosten was one of the last people she spoke with before her mysterious death - and they're careful to draw a veil over the sordid and often apocryphal stories. This is a fond portrait of a complex and witty woman (Asked what she had on, she said, ‘Nothing but the radio.’) and
Shaw's shutter blinked and caught her in all her moods. Most of the pictures are printed for the first time but many of the shots are instantly familiar, including those of that spectacular scene during the filming of The Seven Year itch which, if they had been of 3 killed Scot, would have informed the world once and for all what’s worn underneath the national costume. Marilyn's modesty is revealed but the man operating the wind-machine, with a worm’s eye-view of proceedings, looks as if he enjoyed himself nevertheless. (Alan Taylor)
eruptions. Fire Child is a novel that leaves one cold. (Fay Hall)
0 The Incomplete Works of Jamie Reid Jamie Reid and Jon Savage (Faber and Faber £9.95). Thought-provoking and profusely (black and white) illustrated collection of the man who designed all the Sex Pistols graphics. making him one ofthe most widely-mimicked graphic artists of the last ten years. Reid also made a greater contribution to the Pistols‘ anarchistic manifestos than he was ever given credit for. and this collection takes us from the early days ofhis agitprop illustration for the radical Situationist magazine Suburban Press — including the attendant poster campaigns like ‘This Store Welcomes Shoplifters — This Week Only‘ — through the punk days to Reid‘s current collaboration (or conspiracy). ‘Leaving the Twentieth Century‘. with Margi Clarke. The politics of consumerism is a major theme throughout. and Reid‘s talent is in condensing political tracts into single. powerful images. Typically. and quite properly. this volume raises more questions than it answers. (Mab)
0 Fremsley Ivor Cutler and Martin Honeysett (Methuen £4.95). Ah. Ivor. you‘re welcome around here anytime. This latest book from the greatest living Scotsman succeeds in being even further out than its predecessors Life in a Search Sitting Room and Gruts. so it‘s a surprise that this gathering of his work was originally broadcast on the BBC Home Service between 1959 and 1963. Ifanything. he‘s toned down his oblique and eccentric view of life since then. How a 1959 audience reacted to the concept of the push-kidney. or strategy suits with jelly pockets is beyond me. but long-term fans of Ivor‘s records will be delighted to find the classic ‘Big Jim‘ in print at last. (Mab)
0 From Sleep Unbound Andree Chenid (Serpent‘s Tail £4.95) Samya. a young Egyptian girl. is forced into an arranged marriage to a gross, harping husband with the revoltineg thick-lipped name of Boutros. From thence on. she sleep-walks her way through several marital humiliations and tortuous social scorn. Her snooze-button fails to go off, until the volcanic finale of the novel.
Chedid‘s prose is of the best kind — unencumbered and uncluttered by vacuous speculation. Samya‘s lonely world. under seige from the
The List 26 June — 9 July 47