. strongest ofguys— I look like the ordinary bank clerk before the war ‘bcfore'photo onaCharles Atlas butnowhislife has been "“ advert‘; an area ofGlasgowis not transformed because he isaJew. He just the East End. but ‘Glasgow‘s lives in isolation. with only Thomas Do It Again Martyn Harris (Viking notorious East End district'. The (the ‘cnemy cat') and the shadow of t £11.95)Alec Smith ‘had begun to murders. too. are describedin Ruzena. his ex-lover. to speak to. He :- i feel his life sliding inexorably gleefully gratuitous detail: not only lives in a house on the outskirts of i towards oddness,‘ A child of the were parts ofone corpse stuck to the Prague in absolute poverty. With Sixties. now a Champagne Socialist ceiling. the body. we are told. was only an old gas stove and a damp publishing frenetic attacks on the maggot-ridden bythe time itwas circle on his ccilingto call his own. Monarchy - or. from the perspective discovered. He lives on blood soup. since as a ' ofone ofhis antagonists. an ‘ageing It isapitythe whole book is so Jew he has no ration cards for meat. BEHIND THE SCERES CONT Trotskyite tosspot full of half-baked amateurish. as the central idea - that and blood is all the butcher will sell their cards for boozing. ill temper or hippie Shlli‘he has had enough 0f the ‘Bhgey Mah‘OfChhdreh'S Chan.“ him' Shhjcm to [heldiohyhcrhhh even. in one case‘ dipping his hand the rat-race and wants to recapture may. in a sense. be real would. with cruelties of the ham regime with its inmamother.s purse whilstdangling sorne ofthe lostexcttcmentofhis I considerably more careful handling. absurd and constantly changing her kid on his knee. university days, j prov1de the baSis for a good horror regulations. Roubicek is stripped of Lewis's. however. employ onlv Accordingly he returns m ' novel The suPcrhatuwl ShChOhhhrc his phhswhhmh and his human those who have got the giftfpor the Wykeham. once a microcosm of certainly the most entertaining. il dignity..‘T hey have taken . present they have oneofthc mcmcsl Sixties‘ studentculturecbut now . not alwaysintentionallyso: as Scott everything from him leavmghim and most experienced in Doug tainted by the commcrmal, rapacums drives out of Maryhill. he passes a With only a number. Rennie. a veteran ofsomc {Du} spirit of the Eighties. There, he van. in which sit the. people who have Josef Roubicek is transformed by Christmas camping,” According to becomes embroiled in an affair With so far died: they smile and wave at the eventsaround him. He gradually Mr Rennie (tAn‘m from a long line Rachel. inconveniently (as itturns him. (Stuart Bathgate) comes to find the courage torebel 0'tablewarwinctyninc pcrccmof out)thc daughter ofthe Ministcrfor againstthe fear oldeath‘helfindsm the kids are smashing. y.kn0w‘ the Egineatton. h. h. f. . d b his fellow chhws. it: Weil s inlt11erenth . . - . . arms. in t is. is iction C ut. message 0 ope t at comest roug . uses this relationship as the despite such tragedy. Life with a Star them) backbone ofthe novelanda The Tax Exile Guy Bellamy (Viking isa complex work. laced with Like an experienced Chatshow springboard toexaminc the cultural £12.95) Guy Bellamythought upa humour. irony and. above all. host he manages to coax most of the morass ofcontcmporary Britain. He collection of mildly entertaining hhm'dth- (Ahh VlhthOth)

visitors to his impressive grotto out does so. however. without really jokes of the type that would go down raising his rather bathetic narrative well enough in an average to

oftheir shells. not that they all need

coaxing. .Oh you get the Odd one or abovethe level ofa journalistic. unmemorable pre-lunch Sunday pub two who come up andtug at ma sometimes slapdash. period-piece. sesSion. Then he strungthem beard yknow. some ofthem filled with nostalgia but lackingin togetherand hungthem on astory 39'“th Poems Anna AkhmatOVa- though. are really Shy and I just say any real psychological lnSlght or outline concerning a fellow called S€l€Ct€d~ Tthlath and IhtYOdUCCd totheir mothers don‘tbrmgthcm satiriclash. Theodd compensatory Carton. andthat solely in orderto by Stanley Kunitz with Max over they“ only have nightmaresf laugh is thrown in but. inthe end. the bestow on him the nickname _ Haywhrd (0)”th HatVt” 595)- The myth ofa septuagenarian novel leaves the impression (to Cardboard. Which accurately Thetc 13 3 Portrait 0“ the from COVCF traversingthe worldinaslcigh‘ quote Rachel)of‘just alotofpeople reflects his dimensions. as well as OtthIShOOKOlIIShm and elegant leaping down fines and filling Old inamuddle really. (Stuart Kay) thoscofalltheothcrcharactersin WOmhh Ofaqtllhhc appearance- It socks withthe requested Presents. the hook' AS laws Shhsmhcc is was pamtuhvmnhhhmatovh was not to mention scoffing all the cakes Chhccrth‘ though‘ his 8 mm 25 and already anOymg aCClalm for and whisky left out for him on every Of Darkness and Light Barry Graham gChC“)U5- Tissue P3PCr “'01”le her verscs' h is difficult to read her hearth. isahard one to sustain. ‘You (BlOOThShUTFt-‘hlh-h). It is Said that hearcrthc mark' work howwnhom imaginingthat getsomc kiddics‘agcd about nine‘ Hemingtt-at-dispogedofhis The tale is mere wish-fulfilment t'dCC'dhd thFCOhth Pugctsmlhhg who think “Och it‘s a lot of unsatisfactory first novel the one he SthC thlS Chm)“ dOCS ht’thlhg belt” or grim the is‘hhhhh and terror Shh baloney.“ but there are some at nine wrote before Fiesta by throwing it than [0511”ch his motth and to Comet the hhprcmoh (“Stalin‘s or ten who still believe. They're sort overboard. Now. with the number of lhhcrh- And hOW- “0 swaps hlhht—T Russm‘ the hcmlyhh‘ the defeats“ oftrying to back heel it. but they volumes being published still at unoccupied hnurs in Britain for and the “WWW “um?” This want to believe it.‘ Does Santa ever record levels. writers seem able to mth ti‘X'CVhSlVC ht’UTS in the “tramway produced phperhaCk lose his temper? ‘No. l onlylost ma throw their rough drafts straight at Uttmhlthh“ l’hCl‘de- hi5 “(mic-“t prints the phcmh in Russia” with temper once and thatwas cause it the unsuspecting public, mosey out tojoin him and his dream trahfilittthOh thC htClhg P11895- was a really big ugly guy came in wi‘ This slim volume. whose narrator “"1105 "UC- The” is a long ImmdUChOh Wthh his kiddie and he started to be brutal edits a small Glasgow magazine. A” lhhdcmlt‘ly inhll‘Ch-‘lw 511W h" detail" the ups'hhd'dhwhs of the and Ah says “you stop that now“ and concerns a series of gruesome thC mtmstrmls Suggcsmm [hilt the p‘whS hfc‘ hh ihhhmhhvc account or oneonhc girls started Shoutingm murdm‘ apparently with a effectsofsex abuse can be instantly thC tritttSlittUh-‘th-‘h. and him and this slanging match supernatural component. which take WlPCd 0th by True LU-‘l- RUN h Chmmcmhry Oh the poems developed and he says that hc~s goin place in Maryhj” As the canon quickly. In paperback. Borrowed. thCHISClVCS- Akhmihova Wmte to kill her_ He wis away wi‘ the mixer Gary Scott. becomes enmeshed in not bought. lfat all. cycles of short poems. love lyrics, y‘knowf this catalogue ofcrimes. he realises (Sally MitCPhCTS‘m) and lung cpl“ Chmph‘wd wheat Contrary to popular belief, Mr he may be the next victim. The book witness to her nation‘s long tragedy. Christmas has not Spent an idle me Closes with him deciding to move to On the evidence of these translations upin Lapland, buthas worked in Edinburgh. resignedly realisingthat Ute withaStarJiri Weil (Collins this is poetry ofa high order. Indeed. shiPYards and refineries. mainly he can just as easily be tracked down £12.95) Life with a Star has only 215 She WFOtC 0t Pasternak» She south of the border, Also‘ as many there. recently been translated into herself made ‘3 Song 0‘" 0t may have suspected from the Adolescent self-aggrandisement English. although it is well known in graveyard thistles‘t ahdthc words abundance oftalentrecently aboundsin the narration: Scott.who Central Europe. It isaunique insight ring OUtCleatahd Compelhhg- bestowed on them, Santa is an claimsthe only reason he doesn‘t into and testimony ofthe fate ofthe (Ken MOmCC) ardent Rangers fan_ keep a revolver in his desk drawer is JCWS under the Mills during the Meanwhile. waiting behind us in that he COUldh‘t trust himself “Ct to second World war- the queudwasakidjumping up and use it. hasa Neanderthalattitude in 1942. the book‘s author was down excitedly. «Sandra‘ Sandra. towards women, whom he treats as summoned for transportaton to a we‘re goin ta see Sandra,‘ Her sexual playthings while claiming to concentration camp along with other Selected Poems 1967-1987 Roger mother corrected her, ‘No dear be a fearless campaigner for justice. Jews in Prague. but instead he chose McGough (Jonathan Cape £10.95). you‘re goin tac sec Santa; Sandra‘s There appears. unfortunately. to be to go into hiding for the duration of This LlVCTPOOl CU“ POCt 0fth€ your sister.‘ Pitytheydidn‘ttakc an elementofwish-fulfilment inthis. the Nazi occupation. ltwas from this Sixties has SUYViVCd happilyihtothc Sandra to see the effervescent Doug as the author was himself deputy experience that he drew for Life with Eighties and continues to Write and Rennie too. for though he mat- he editor of a small magazine. a Star. It is an intensely moving story read hlS 15¢“thde VCTSC- 1" this only one of many, he‘s certainly one The dialogue is stilted. the centred around the main character: SClCCthU from twenty YCMS‘ Work of the best, description cliched: Scott is ‘not the Josef Roubicek. formerly an hC COVCFS it With? Flith - young lOVC~

78 The List 8— 21 December 1989