Nor does she remember much about this man or about anything else, for that matter. She has an atrocious memory. But she tries to remember, and every detail of her recollect: ts brings with it endless permutations. This starts on page one. ‘I did not notice the man coming toward me because I was reading or sipping a cup of tea, or doing both, or perhaps I was simple gazing at the lake‘ -— and gets worse.
Far from being menacing, the confusion becomes unbelievably irksome and one steadily loses interest in the murderer and the victim. Although Kohler is talented - at least her character is consistently irritating — she is bankingon a very patient readership. And the denouement isn’t worth the wait. (Miranda France)
SHORT STORIES NOSTALGIC PAINTINGS
Terrible Kisses Robley Wilson (Hamish Hamilton £12.95) Terrible Kisses is a new UK edition of fourteen short stories from the American writer, Robley Wilson. The story Terrible Kisses. from which the collection borrows its
name. is typical of the others in this volume: a woman imprints her lover‘s body with indelible kisses, a
truly unforgettable birthday present.
The stories deal with down-to-earth ‘real‘ and ‘unreal‘ aspects of everyday life. These are tales ofordinary folk, a bit rough at the edges but human all the same, trying to make sense of what life throws at them. Wilson portrays his characters experiencing. or reminiscing on, the most crisis-torn times in'their lives. From the sudden death of a wife, to a woman trying to come to terms with the effects of breast cancer, to an old man lusting after his nine year-old granddaughter - each character’s individual pain is brought out in poignant detail.
Terrible Kisses contains an array of richly painted characters forced to confront life‘s ordeals. Flecked with the bitter-sweet irony of nostalgia, of being forced to consider the past, the stories are also delicately understated — although each one appears to be bristling with years of pent-up emotions. This collection is guaranteed compulsive reading. (Ann Vinnicombe)
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Kennedy Wilson investigates where tomorrow’s big spenders will be ﬂexing their cards.
January sales are not restricted to January. The point ofsales is not so much to offer bargains, even to get rid of excess stock , but to offer a ‘loss leader‘ to entice customers into the shop. But today new enticements attempt to persuade customers to spend spend spend.
The future of retailing lies with the mega-mall. Twenty minutes from Edmonton, the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta, is West Edmonton Mall. At 110 acres and 5.2 million square feet WEM is the world‘s largest shopping complex, although ‘shopping‘ is a bit ofa misnomer. The 800 retail outlets are almost obscured by WEM’s Disneyland-style fixtures and fittings.
A five acre water park, WEM comprises a plastic palm-lined
Future shop or
beach, 22 waterslides, a 400 foot long artificial lake. dolphinarium and replica ofColumbus’ galleon. There is also the Mindbender rollercoaster and a mock European boulevard — all under glass (WEM is on almost the same latitude as Moscow). Its developers call it ‘a city where we have no winter'.
WEM has little taste either. But WEM's ambitious, extravagant vision has to be admired. Expensive effects and cheap thrills come wrapped in a seamless package that is not quite theme park. not quite funfair, but all hard sell. WEM‘s advertising budget is higher than what Alberta spends on promoting the entire province. The shopping mall was, ofcourse, an American invention. Now the world awaits the spread of the mega-mall, a place for shopping, sport, leisure, and a day-long excursion into fantasy. In this thermostatically controlled, air-conditioned world of rainbow-lit fountains, marble halls, terracotta piazzas. in-house menageries. multiplex cinemas, light railways and foodcourts, reality is not allowed to
76 The List 9 - 22 February 1990