CANONGATE CLASSICS New titles for Spring

THE SILVER BOUGH . F. Marian McNeil] l lnlrodurod or .S'Iezt'm'l .S'ondwzs‘mz June £3.95 '


A CHILDHOOD IN SCOTLAND Christian Miller In/rodure’d (gr Doro/Irv I’orlrr Juno £3.95

TUNES OF GLORY l James Kennaway April £3.50 '


Nancy Brysson Morrison 5

Introduced by [Main Morgan April £3.95


Robin jenkins June £3.95

THE THRIE ESTAITIS . Sir David Lindsay Edited and Introduced by Rod lira/l April £2.95

CLOUD HOWE Lewis Grassic Gibbon Inlrodurrd [gr Tom Craze/on]

.-\pril £3.50

CANONGATE 17 Jeffrey Street Edinburgh EH1 10R

harbours was Singapore! That quibble aside. .his is essential reading for all pirate-lovers.


The World Treasure of Science Fiction (Little, Brown £12.95) This is a remarkably large collection for the price; over a thousand pages and 52 stories. Well over half the stories are American. mainly from the Fifties. but also with several from the Seventies. others dating back to 1939 and only one from the present decade by John Updike. Four of the five British contributions fit, broadly. into the New Wave ofthe Sixties Aldiss, Ballard, Burgess and Roberts the exception is Arthur C. Clarke with ‘A Meeting With Medusa‘ (1972).

Many of the translated works were written in the Seventies and several seem to have been included to increase the ‘international‘ aspect of the anthology. Most countries are represented by one author: Lem, Calvino and Klein all have two stories. Other familiar names are Borges and the Strugatski brothers. Even the avid reader is unlikely to be familiar with more than halfthe stories; there are some excellent discoveries to be made and the anthology also serves its purpose as an introduction to the field.


In the Land of the Dead K.W. Jeter (Morrigan £11.95) Previous UK books by this author have mainly been crazed near-future SF adventures reminiscent of P. K. Dick (who appeared as a radio station in one book), and Rudy Rucker. However, he also writes horror novels and this is the first hardback to be available here.

One is reminded ofSteinbeck by the background ofimpoverished fruit-pickers in the Californian orange groves and early union activism during the Depression. Cooper befriends a peculiar girl on the farm he works on and together they scheme to rob the owner and escape to better things. The plan hinges on the girl‘s ability to animate dead objects at least briefly, but

- Cooper continually denies that she . can. even as he is drawn deeper into


‘w'n' 'rsvtkeistem, toiemed photographer and :ovt- ‘1' "CV878721' member of the Foc'Or/ group presents 1:

the plot. This is a complete change from SF; a well-developed novel rather than a madcap adventure.


Medieval Civilization 400-1500 Jacques Le Goff (Blackwell £19.95) ‘Why bother to change things‘?‘ This attitude dominated the medieval mind. So Jacques Le Goffsuggests in this fascinating and eminently readable book.

The reasons for stagnation lay in the nature of feudal society: the man at the bottom had no desire to benefit those above him, he was interested only in survival in a violent world. Death was his constant companion death from disease, starvation or as a result of warfare.

He believed the Apocalypse was imminent. Several times the Antichrist was reported to have appeared, while his agents, the Moslems, were encroaching on Western Europe. Natural disaster was feared lest it signified the beginning ofthe End.

Le Goff pays little attention to traditional history, preferring to delve into the medieval psyche. Drawing on contemporary sources and the works of modern historians, he brings to life a world at once altruistic and self-centred. introverted and expansionist.

He charts the Church‘s rise, showing how it came to dominate the economy through the monastic system. Using vivid maps and diagrams, he reveals the growth of the few important towns. but stresses that little changed for the peasant: life was as hard in 1500 as it had been in 500. (Gordon Roberts)


The Pleasure of the Past David Cannadine (Collins £17.50) There is a trend in popular music whereby the record company gathers the hit singles of a successful act and releases them on a compilation LP.


* '.~‘, :‘P. a,” I .e If —\ .‘ -v‘ i . , . g - r .‘n , s , ' ‘v/.'~r ’-"‘ ' 1‘ iv" r, v} . . a

'u' r1, - x", . r"““'\~.* :-


5‘» ' P v

Lio'ifilllij‘ pt‘oto-rnontoge oi snopshots ono Show rectg'lcc'IO'ts, oi «Torr-o! cmd the FOClOr‘y CrC/rci ;:.e.v {Lock coo wmi‘e photogroohg see-'1 ‘or

the first 'ime £9.95 Paperback Published 6th April



The result is frequently disappointing: partly because the whole lacks any conceptual unity, and partly because flaws that might be forgiven on one track are emphasized over many.

This book is a Greatest Hits book. It consists of reprints from various literary magazines of Mr Cannadine‘s reviews ofbooks on topics dealing with the period from Victoria to the present. To try to give shape to such an amorphous collection. the essays are pulled into unsatisfactory thematic groups. It seems to be stretching matters to add a piece on Elgar to five on architectural subjects and to head them ‘Creativity‘.

Stylistically. Mr Cannadine irritates. One essay with lengthy lists, frequent sentences beginning with ‘and‘ and numerous tripartite sentences might be acceptable; a book full ofthem is purgatory. It would be interesting to know whose idea the book was the author’s or the publisher‘s.

()n the evidence of the pieces included. Mr Cannadine is an exceptionally well-informed author who would be entertaining in a full-length book. The hors d‘oeuvres are tasty but there is no main course. (Gordon Roberts)


Stuart Bathgate, Iain Grant and Susan Mackenzie investigate the latest nail-biters.


Reader, I Murdered Him: Original Crime Stories ed. Jen Green (The Women's Press £4.50). An anthology of women‘s crime writing presenting murderers, victims and sleuths in many guises. all ofthem, however, female. Prose styles vary, as does the quality of the content. Social issues, particularly sexuality, arise but are broadly incidental to the main themes. Generally entertaining with clever turns, but reminiscent at times ofwomen‘s magazine fiction ‘Women‘s Weekly‘ for feminists? (SM)


Victims Shirley Shea (Pandora £3.95). Shea‘s debut novel turns tables, as a multiple killer terrorises the men ofCanada. As an intriguing plot evolves. a top criminal lawyer, his servile wife (saviour of a sinister stray cat). and family friend strive to connect the killings. Without literary superfluity the tale twists towards a forceful finale. Read between the lines to reveal the method behind the madness. (SM)


Study In Lilac Maria Antonia Oliver (Pandora £3.95). Moonlighting meets Mike Hammer in downtown Barcelona. Female investigator Lonia (with a penchant for lipstick)

“The List 7 20 April 1989