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o Reasonable Doubts Joan Lingard (Pavanne £2.95) Doubtful Thomas has mid-life ﬂing with sleek Edinburgh lawyer. Claire. and leaves his wife. Claire is defending licentious Liffey. boyhood chum of Thomas. against a rape charge. Well-spun. who-is—it. where-is-it whodunnit.
Stephanie Billen talks to a man hoping to make the publishing industry shake — if not with fear then with laughter.
‘lt's lies from beginning to end'. admits Stephen (‘aplin. 28 year old editor and publisher of The Truth. The Truth. if you can believe him. is Britain’s first new national humour magazine for twenty-six years. and desk-top publishing methods not withstanding. it‘s as glossy and professional as they come — or in the case of Private live. don't come. ‘I want it to be a state of the art magazine the way Private Iiye was when it came out. Printing it on bog paper suited its anti-establishment image. but I think now people are used to television humour. like Spitting Images. that is slick and 1 professional; the magazine has to reflect that.‘ (‘aplin prefers to think of his as a humour rather than a satire 3 magazine. In fact. ‘comedy‘ is the word he likes best — ‘humour makes I you think of Denis Norden'. Its 3 ‘news‘ pages will carry stories related 1 more to ‘the feel of the news' than to i actual current events and. far from I
being seriously iconoclastic. the magazine is likely to reinforce yuppie lifestyles. The Truth is for people who are yuppies. or want to be. but don‘t like the term.‘ says
0 Deadlock Sara Paretsky (Penguin £2.95) Ex-ice hockey ace Boom Boom slips (or was he pushed?) under a tanker and doesn't surface. Enter Vic Warshawski. Private Investigator. a new name to conjure with ifyou can pronounce it.
0 Along with Youth: Hemingway, The Early Years Peter Griffin (Oxford UP £5.95) Papa in diapers. Diligently
Caplin pointing to Barbie dolls. featured in a strip cartoon. as quintessential examples of the species. Private Eye gets people to laugh at Sid and Doris Bonkers. this quaint working-class couple with their awful tabloid newspaper. but I think people find themselves more interesting than anyone else. I'm sure Terry and June was watched by an army ofTerry and Junes.‘
But despite the fact that Caplin is a self-confessed ‘sucker for designer junk‘. like yuppy accessories. Swatches and Perrier. advertisers aren't necessarily going to love him as much as you'd think. A soft-focus photo of a tongue stretching towards a Perrier bottle over the caption ‘Fallacieau‘ is one of a number of visual jokes in The Truth. some of which will have come from ideas by irregular contributors like cabaret comics. John Dowie. Paul Merton and Arnold Brown. The style is likely to appeal to people who like Saturday Live and find at least some of Who Dares Wins funny. but the cartoons add a comic-book dimension. with (‘aplin having sought out new artists from sources such as Strip 8. a one-off gay cartoon magazine. and Sour ('ream featuring female cartoonists.
For (‘aplin who traipsed round every publisher he could think of with no success. producing his own magazine — virtually on his own — was the only way to make the idea happen. But the graduate who
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researched and readable account of Hemingway‘s formative years. Five previously unpublished short stories are slotted into the narrative. The boy could write but he was no Mozart. 0 Blood, Bread and Poetry Adrienne Rich (Virago £4.95) Politics and poetry are inseparable in these rousing addresses. Adrienne Rich _ uses her acute and humane observtions to analyse painful puzzles ofcircumstanec. She unravels cocoons and fuses the material into new historical perspectives. Feminism is enriched; so is Jewishness. global responsibility. academicism. sexuality. ‘Words can help us move‘; her‘s do. (Chris Roberts) 0 Fast One Paul Caine (No Exit Press £3.95) Thirties’ thriller Fast One rips through surreal gangsterland. Kells
started a listings magazine in Norwich and has even dabbled in advertising. now has a shrewd idea that the countrywide launch of The Truth (in WI IS and Mingies) could be a success. ‘I think it'll work out'. he says. while owning that none of the new crop of magazines like the projected EMAP humour magazine. or the more fiercely investigative The Digger due out at the same time as The Truth in mid-October. are likely to dent Private Eye.
What he will say is that The Truth at 95p and set to come out ten times a year. will be ‘more fun than a pint of lager'. and ‘less likely to go flat' — a statement which could get him into even more trouble with future advertisers.
(‘Gerry in the hay‘) moves around mobs. press and cops, knowing the score: gambling ship or boxing ring, logic is different but still corrupt. Cool customers will enjoy pacy one-liners as the amoral style races them to a surprise ending. (Chris Roberts) 0 Staring at the Sun Julian Barnes (Picador £3.50). Mesmerising and ambitious novel. with a timescale which runs from the early 1930s to 2020. charting the life ofJean Serjeant. her son Gregory and their questions about courage and fear. life and death. The latter part comes close to getting bogged down in philosophising. but Barnes' excellence always shines through. 0 Virago Omnibus ll (Virago £12.95) Includes three short novels: All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West: The Return ofthe Soldier by Rebecca West; and Two Days in Aragon by MJ. Farrell (Molly Keane). A splendid combination which runs the gamut of emotions from A-Z. upper and lower case. 0 Augustus Carp, Esq. By Himself (Penguin £2.50) Spurious autobiography of ‘a really good man.‘ Posthumously. the real author was discovered to be a country doctor. This is his only humorous work and it’s a gem. outPootering Pooter and with more than a dash of Wooster sauce. 0 Floyd on France (B B(‘ Publications £6.95). Floyd is a find. Ilis on-screen charm beams out at you. till you‘re not even jealous when he tucks into wonderful wines and foods. although you‘re meanwhile tucking into a deep-frozen Lean Cuisine. His latest book Floyd on France. happily captures this charm — he writes as he speaks. Whilst meandering round the gastronomic regions of France. he takes such obvious pleasure in everything— surroundings. friends, little glasses of Marc— that you long to join him. Keith Floyd's attitude towards food is to luxuriate in it without imbueing it with any of the intimidating mystiques that are so fashionable nowadays. and this enthusiasm is infectious. Even peculiar notions for offal and salt cod don‘t sound nearly as grim as when treated by some of his less avuncular counterparts. He has a way of making his disapproval felt also. ()n British hams: ‘Flabby. clammy slices of pink. ﬂavourless plastic that sling disgustingly to the teeth. pre-sliced. pre-wrapped. hanging in pallid rows
42 The List 2—15 October