tonfident andassertiye. () is (louhly difficult asa female.‘

l aia l ludson. one of the t'tt-ititlttiatiit'sitl llet'lttlse. doesn‘t hayc to voice lici sentiments; the slogan on her l —sltltt Clole for the (oils sunisit up l nlikc theother speakcisshcisnotworkinginthe llltlll\ll\ and is struggling forlunding for her experimental work, for many ‘.\.ittieti film—makers. elll'tilllc.tll_\ untk'i'ttmtlctl. the piat tital(lilticiiltiesaregetting tctiuipmentandhayinga pla'hiiiri toshow tlieit work. lhe .itly Iiom the panel that with

tli't k\\ it

tit-'«.-iiiiiii.itioi..persistenceantlluck .1il‘.llllll_L' is prssihle. may seem as

l.;'iit.~ as Royt astle trumpeting 'tletlli .::ion.i.ietlit.ition.that'swhat ‘llll.'e'tl ll yoiiwannahea female tilii; iiiikci i. Although '.h.-i._”s.ihierarchy.hecausc as

women they hay e had totlo hattle to

te ili'\‘~ lli.‘ tialiiicc, the speakers want tootiei :guiding. reassuring ; hantl l‘crhapslieeauscolthe

colletgtiy e w .i; m w hich many wotnen ‘.\itii. i. is no: surprising htit it‘s hard in tlcctiuiyalent:

Viy the only way men passon


I Haroun And The Sea Of Stories Salman Rushdie (Uranta £12.9‘))l

ion is ill the toilet or over a gitit

hit are Llit: chances of a

s. u. 1 :sh woman feat are director in was initially tempted to try and write 1*. tiJuii It depends on w ho gets this review without making any

iii ‘lQLYx' st tun hiig as to w ho gets references to Salman Rushdie'sown .nt :i :1: st Liv s t ';is.s.intha story for. on the surface. his move to :1. t .‘i . si.-Lo.-n~;:iie -,\s writing children's fantasy might

' .ir's lane! ainpion'swork. l can seem like an escape attempt. Btit

._ ii. :1 a: euhui al parallels with Rushdie is certainly not retreating

sK iiivgnti y on i. n. »w. '/ lie Hi1; .tlim, from the real world. for all the water s-..» s. that w hole tradition of genies. talking fishes and wishing h in «VI: ih tilii; making] in potions in this hook. lle hasin fact T") ‘iiltitt e ith how slic‘ takes written a complex. wonderfully iii. i. \‘v gz. it she first truit film inventive and even touching fahle

. a (it, .. c-i t-w t'tllll\ alent to which is much the hest defence of his

'li liltt it) make liei first feature. tittsilittli. wi i i win h .n itiLili they w ere all Haroun is the archetypal troy—hero mi ‘iic‘lllt l). expei ieiiecd. She w ho emharks on an adventure to (a it”, (5 e of lug. w hie-angled restore his dad‘s magical storytelling it ushot . (innit, (Hints. no powers hy fightingofl the threat to titti‘lil. w hich is w hat she the Sea of Stories. the source ofall \' i. .t lhw t. .tmei aman kept tales. and cleansing it ofthe ii i- in l t. i .iiiil she \Clltl it was y cry pollution which has already resulted

in ‘an outhreak of talking helicopter anecdotes (there he goes again ~ the Royal family will he ordering a r/illit'tl next). 'l’he cause of it all is the satisfy ingly‘ hateful Khattam-Shud and his followers of the (‘ult of Silence. who despise stories hecause they create worlds that they cannot control. ()hvious parallels here. hut

.ult (“.11 i he had to act tough to

mtetl )oiiean‘t


it‘lt\lilt‘l ’hcii:

istccles that are ptit in

twin wax \oti'ye grit tolic

ielt'i’lillleii" itloyylial voiiwant.‘

\‘y:‘liguisestimgsgraspetlin l’t'i Li‘x eaii(Hosea(‘lc'tliaitittt '\\eiycitist ‘_.‘ii.llllii‘.l“\.

l horitsoii‘s liaiitl. perhaps she

the makersot learn

)1“, inimflol 1 1m skirt), [ma they are never hammered home:

It; a) H (a). y onl);_(”11(-.( Rushdie is careful to stress how

_/u g H l: A warm)” i“! ink-cum“) Uc ordinary and insignificant

it A. a. Mi ‘1 a) (p) (tr (t onhi Khattam-Shud looks. Sometimes “may; n [in n- .n L- c. am #1531 your worst nightmare can look like a . an»). an N ;. a c m (so (glam) lyiit horing. weedy clerk; yes. it‘s the an)“ s3 ("m-m .1) instant; [kjiltiigs' hanality ofevil and the evil of

hanality again.

'l‘he hook manages to create a fantastic yet wholly helievahle world of its own that stands amongst those children‘s classics which remain in the memory long alter one has grown

l’eih fps iii the next few years. who kriiiws‘

It you taiicy sitting in the director's cll.ill i‘l are generally interested in Lilii‘. skills. the hest way to start is at a


/;_ i,( . i It (pig/Wm); tip. Rushdie plays upon the readers

/ it a .1 t /,;-(\; mum m rernemhrances without ever

\.,i_. Hp . ( mg)“, ( (“MUM/m sounding arch. cynical or

if) i ,',,,,\W; os/ S_<“S_‘.,I_“ sentimental. 'l‘he hook delights in

i _.»' [jug an“: (1.31,, it (irks/3H!) puns. rhymes and word-play. and o.) ‘1; m3 t; has a welter of hizarre htit hrilliant

) to; it} im \/ my in ( ,‘g’avgoit notions; it isoften extremely funny. _ s (i r [)(g'dgg's [am Hmivon Any intelligent eight to twelve

year-old with a hallway decent

85 lhel ist l:

25 ( )ctoher l‘l‘lll

imagination will love it.

Mostly. though. Haroun seems destined to he read hy adults and as such it succeeds on several levels: as a political argument for tolerance and the value of artistic freedom; as a nostalgic reminder of how important fairy-tales are for the young; hut most of all. as a damn good adventure story. Funnily enough. I think it‘s the hest hook he's ever written. (Andrea Baxter)


I The Lite and Death of My Lord Gilles De Rais Rohert Nye (Hamish Hamilton £13.09) 'l'he hody ofNy'e‘s fiction for adults consists mainly of a series of novels ahout real or fictional historical characters. Books ahout Faust. Merlin. Raleigh and Lord Byron followed the classic [Va/stuff. which topped the hestslelle r lists in the mid—7Hs. 'l'hcy commonly feature magic. humour and Rahelaisian invention.

The Life and Dear/z ()fMy lam] (ii/{m De Rat's is very much in this tradition. De Rais was the original Blueheard. a 15th—century french aristocrat who thought that dehauchery' was for hahies (literally as well as metaphorically ) and w hose dahhling in the hlack arts would have made Aleister ( 'rowley look like Dougal from The .llizgit‘ [town/ahout. l’lenty ofscope for Rahelaising here. hut we are not treated to an enormous wealth ofgory detail. lnstead. what emerges is a finely—crafted character study of De Rais and. often at the expense of the former. the pompous yvindhag priest who acts as narrator, It‘s not very funny. and Nye‘s prose is tending to hecome a little tortuous. hut this is a far from average read. ( lain ( irant)


I Age Iron .l..\l. ('oet/ce l Seeker and \Varhurg £13.99) \‘y'hen white meets hlack in (‘oct/ee‘s South Africa. death is the hinding principle. glee (if/run. the final epistle of a middle—aged hody consumed hy cancer and dragged hy a reluctant spirit. hecomes a testimony to the disease w hich grows in ‘a land taken hy' force. used. despoiled. ahandoned in its harren years.~

lili/aheth (‘urren returning from the doctors with terminal cancer“ stamped on her prescription. is confronted hy .‘ylr Vercuil. a drunken tramp who is to hecome her confessorand her .-\ngcl()fl)cath; his smell pervades her comfortahle home in (‘ape ’l‘own. mingling with that of her cats. \'ercuil. living a twilight existence hetween the white lie and the hlack struggle. is lilizahetlis conscience; a foil to her fearful resistance to death and South African reality. llis emhrace. which she longs for. is denied in her journey from anaesthetised suhtrrhia to the murky gutter. and when it is given. it is the clammy emhrace of


‘l‘hrough the form of lili/aheth's letter to an ahsent daughter. who has ahandoned the diseased hodies of mother and nation. (‘oet/ee dissects the mind of a woman exposed to the horror of her own lonely death. and the reality of what lies hehind her cushioned environment. :tge (if/rim is an honest. careful sidestep into the hloody territory where life meets death. the personal meets the political. and where cancer is contagious. (Kathleen Morgan)


I A Passionate Man .loanna 'l‘rollope (Bloomshury {13.99) ‘I am afraid to live a little life.‘ Archie said. ‘when I might live a much greater one' Btit then that would he an entirely different story. wouldn‘t it'.’ 'l'rollope‘s novel is a paltry tale of upper middle-class domestic crises. from hedwetting toextra-marital crash courses in what may have heen. Archie logan. he of the mishegotten title. isa country doctor; a family man who dares to kiss his wife full on the mouth. driver

ofa Range Rover and owner of a

King ('harles' Spaniel. ( linging to a

vine of honour nourished hy' the

hlood of his \l lS patients. he is mildly happy with his truly


'l'he intrusion of the ‘hcaatilul and exotic‘ .‘ylarina. whom his long-time widowed lather wall/fies i into the

precai'iously halanced dancefloor of

Logan life. ruptures the intricate relationshipof father-son loy e. After a sudden death in the height of ecstasy. family honds hecome prison

hars as Archie and his wife seek

the essence of fun living which their marriage seems to have angrily tley'ottt‘etl.

An attempt hy 'li'ollope to explore the unpleasant and complex undercurrents of wealthy rural life is frustrated hy' a severe lack of imagination and humour. .\rchie is as staid as his name suggests. unless getting it tip with someone other than his w ile tiualifies him as passionate. and .‘ylarina‘s’ trcmhling

sensuality and exoticism are held

i l

firmly in place hy 'l'rollopc‘s insistence upon exploring her designer wardrohe. l'ltimately. the unctimfortahle squeak of shoulderpads underneath cashmere is more apparent than the earth—moving emotions which the title promises. (Kathleen Morgan)



I The Penguin Book of Lies ed. l’hilip Kerr ( Viking l’enguin £15410) from the ‘hairy lie“ of .lacoh and Rehekah it] ( ietiesis to at recent llit/¢'/it'll(/<'II{ article on ‘terminological inexactitudes‘. l’hilip Kerr has compiled an almost comprehensive historyoflying. Bihlical. classical. religious and political lies are amply represented. as are the uhiciuitous