Julie Walters Johnny Rozsa. ‘What annoys me? Prudishness! I can’t hear it. In the play I'm in now. I love it when I say ‘pussy' on

Harlem slang provides a fund of pithy expressions (‘ jelly’ [sex], ‘gum .beater’ [a braggart], and ‘I shot him lightly and he died politely‘ [I outdid him]). Unfortunately I was wally enough not to notice the glossary of terms until I’d finished the book. Too much ‘conk buster” (cheap liquor) no doubt.

(Kristina Woolnough)

0 Blitz: Exposure! Young British Photographers (Edbury Press £8.95 £8.95) ‘I‘d like to be fashionable genuinely but I’ve never had the figure for it . . .‘ Thus spake John ‘dae ye ken‘ Peel to that acme of hipness. Blitz magazine. In this snappy collection from its first seven years all is not revealed of his figure. in fact, only halfhis face is. Similarly with Clive James, fresh from immersion with Hefner‘s centrefolds. but anyway there’s a tendency for the eye to be distracted to his page-partner. the ever-so-cool Greta Sacchi who looks as ifshe might be incontinent. She‘s credited with saying. ‘The worst thing about my latest film was doing the bed scenes. You try spending three days naked with a man you despise.‘ My heart goes out to her. Elsewhere its balding pates (Pete Townshend). blotches (Mel Smith). and bleached blondes. (Billy Idol)

0 Are You Lonesome Tonight? Lucy de Barbin and Dary Matera (Century Hutchinson £12.95) Predictably. Elvis fans have reacted with rage to this book. written by the woman who claims to be the one Presley really loved. She has a daughter to prove it.

stage at the beginning at the first act. The other night a whole group of women all went ‘0hhh!' I love that.

and a look at photos of Desiree. ‘the daughter Elvis never knew he had’. shelves all doubts about her parentage.

It‘s a fascinating but harrowing story. Married after a grotesque ‘auction‘ at the age ofeleven to a violent drunk at least thirty years her senior. she was a mother of two by the time she was fourteen. 'I‘here followed twenty-four years of anguish. waiting unknown in the wings. afraid to make their relationship known for fear of irreparany harming Elvis‘s career. Occasional nights ofbliss in anonymous hotel rooms were followed by years of never hearing her loved one‘s voice. except through the radio.

It would take a saint still to be able to smile after all that. and Elvis is no less a saint in her eyes. forever frozen as a vulnerable teenage country boy. It's difficult for the reader to have the same regard for the latter day Elvis as de Barbin. Weak-willed. manipulated by the reprehensible ‘Colonel‘ Parker and the hoods and hangers-on he surrounded himself with. the King was drugging his way gravewards. A tragic and pathetic tale full of what-ifs and might-have-beens: but not having the personal moral stake in it that hardcore Presley-ites do. I have no reason to disbelieve. (Mab)

O The NaziYears Marianne Mackinnon (Chatto 6’; Windus £12.95) A recent estimate put the number of books written about WWII at around 50.000. Overkill?


Not with this one. For it is a remarkable human and social document. the personal experiences of a German girl who was thirteen when war broke out. Marianne Gartner. as she was then. was the only daughter ofmiddle-class German parents. When they divorced she was farmed out to various boarding-schools and lived as a paying guest of well-to-do families. As with the majority ofher generation. she was a member of the Hitler youth. attended its summer camps. parroted its slogans and was inculcated in Nazi philosophy. Conformity was the byword but Marianne managed to avoid becoming brainwashed and body-swerved the inevitable punishments by dint ofber outstanding prowess as an athlete.

Her war really begins after the Dresden bombings and the advance ofthe Allies. As the Russians approached the Germans fled. fearful ofa terrible revenge. Marianne is captured but through luck and guile avoids rape. and escapes. She is now married to a Scot and lives in Glasgow with her Scottish husband and their three sons. In "I‘he Nazi Years‘ she resists the temptation to look back with hindsight. The result is a fresh and vivid book. (Jennifer Robb)

0 Flag Woman, Rich Woman Margaret Thomson Davis (Century £11.95) One of a family of fourteen. with a mother in the rag trade. and a father who divided his time between Barlinnie and the bookies. Rory McElpy‘s dreams ofsuccess seemed nothing more than fantasy in 1920s‘

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The List 2-1 July (1 August 41