I Bet They’ll Miss Iis When We’re Cone Marianne Wiggins (Sceptre £5.99) In this short-story collection we are slipped. chameleon-like, through a world of characters’ heads: an obsessive counter, a fugitive in Wales (based on Wiggins‘ own experiences on the run with Salman Rushdie). a failing old man and an estranged father. Surrealism threatens to creep in from time to time but on the whole Ms Wiggins ﬁghts it off. An engaging volume. each story labelled with the time and place of its creation.
I Truentieth Century Boy - the Marc Bolan Story Mark Paytress (Sidgwick and Jackson £9.99) Despite admitting from the start that he never actually saw glam rock pioneer Mark Feld. aka Marc Bolan. in the ﬂesh, Paytress’s account of his life abounds in care and detail. From Bolan's early excesses with the band John's Children to his later, uh, excesses in post- T Rex days, this biography is grounded in the changing culture of the time. Perhaps not for the completely uninitiated. however.
I 21 various authors (Picador £4.99) TWenty-one Picador authors celebrate the imprint's coming-of-age. with each considering one of the years between 1972—1992. Some, like Clive James. adopt a documentary-style world view. while others give a more personal account of their lives and circumstances; a short proﬁle and photograph of each writer supplies interesting context. A nice idea and a guaranteed memory-jogger.
I Goldman’s Anatomy Glenn Savan (Bantam £5.99) Heavily billed as the steamy follow-up to White Palace. with a ‘love triangle of obsession and lust‘. Beware! Things don't start getting raunchy until page 152, and then. well. they don't really do it again, despite the breasts on the cover. Not that you shouldn't enjoy the charactersand-plot bit which is important too.
I Strip Jack Ian Rankin (Orion £4.99) Inspector Rebus returns, obstructed by suspects and superiors alike as he investigates a Water of Leith drowning, the theft of rare books, and an MP seemingly set up for a fall. Unlikely coincidences aside. Rebus's strong. witty presence and Rankin’s gift for ﬁne poian of Edinburgh detail make this a thoroughly engrossing read.
I Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow Peter H¢eg (Harvill £15.99) As a native Greenlander brought up in Denmark from late childhood, Smilla Jasperson has an intimate, sometimes seemingly mystical, feeling for snow. ice, and the hundreds of beautiful and deadly forms frozen water can take. So when she happens on the rather thin ﬁrst premise for this thriller — she sees from his footprints in the snow that a small boy’s fatal fall from a rooftop was no accident — she skates out on ever thickening developments until she has a highly charged novel under her feet. given substance by a heady mix of science, conspiracy, lust and pure fluke.
Smilla is at best an indifferent outsider in Danish society. Equally, her native roots have been softened in the European warmth, although her view of Greenland is never sentimental. Hocg. ably abetted by F. David's terse
translation, employs these viewpoints to excellent effect, propelling this ﬁercely tenacious loner right through to a thrilling climax. (Thom Dibdin)
I lie Pity Stewart Home (AK Press £5.95) Two things happen with great frequency in Stewart Home’s stories: 1) Somebody ‘smashes a ﬁst into the bastard’s mouth' and is rewarded with ‘the satisfying crunch of splintering bone’.
’ 2) Somebody ‘shoots off a wad of
liquid genetics‘ or a ‘package of DNA’.
Home writes in the tradition of Richard Allen‘s skinhead novels, depicting everyday goings-on in the class struggle, the pretentious extremes of the art world and London's drug
‘ culture. His description of violent
exchanges is explicit beyond belief and his sex scenes tend to be brutal.
What makes this such a scary book, apart from the threatening gentleman on the cover (who turns out to be none other than Stewart Home himself). is its utter dispassion. As the title suggests. virtually all emotion is absent, which grows increasingly disturbing with each extremity that occurs. The book is fascinating in an ugly way. but be warned: it really is one step beyond most violent ﬁction. (Gavin Inglis)
I Swimming The Channel Jill Neville (Bloomsbury £14.99) Handsome diplomat Paul falls for older woman Beth. pursuing the affair until she is ready to leave her husband. At which point he perceives the drawbacks of commiting himself to a partner who’ll be in her sixties when he is still in his mid-forties, and ditches her. Some years later. married and dissatisﬁed, he is beset by regrets and. aided by his babysitter Tess. ﬂies off to rekindle
their love. unfortunately dying in a plane crash en route. Tess conceals her knowledge from Paul‘s wife and daughter, just as she keeps secret her own love for him. It‘s a light. readable novel. billed as sad and funny on the jacket. but don't expect to laugh out loud. Neville‘s women display a distressing lack of control over their lives, which revolve helplessly around a man whose attentions mix them up and generally do them no good at all. So what‘s new? (Cathy Boylan)
Complete Poems, Vol 1, Hugh Macoiannid, edited by Michael Crieve & W. ll. Altken (Carcanet £30). Scottish Eccentrics, llugh Macoiannid, edited by Alan Riach (Carcanet £1 6.95).
These two volumes form part of Carcanet’s praiseworthy Macolarmid 2000 project, launched for the centenary last year, which aims to have all of Macolarmid‘s poetry and the bqu of his prose output in print by that year. In Scottish Eccentrics, first published in 1936, Macoiatmid sought to fashion from the lives of eleven idiosyncratic individuals from the 17th to the 19th centuries the idea of the uncanny Scot - the reverse of the dour, mechanical, philistine, thrifty, practical stereotype. Fine passages of his own machine-gunner prose mingle with huge borrowed quotations as he develops his theory of ‘The Caledonian Antisyzygy’, the shared ground between gargoyle and saint, and his essay on McConagall is probably the most intelligent, incisive and serious assessment of the man ever written.
The first volume of the Complete Poems (originally published in 1970, just after the poet’s death) fills the gap shanefully left by Penguin’s longstanding failure to reprint their paperback edition, with the addition of poems discovered since the first publication. It contains most of the essential Macoiarmid - the lyric collections Sangschaw and Penny Wheep, the extended works A Drunk Man looks At The Thistle and To Circumiack Cencrastus, and individual shorter poems of pure genius like ‘On A Raised Beach’, within Stony limits. it’s great to see these works available again in their original entirety, but many will find the price somewhat prohibitive, in which case Carcanet’s already-published Selected Poems may be the answer. (James Robertson) James Roberton is writer-in-residence at Brownsbank Cottage near Bigger, Macoiannid’s former home.
I Iain Banks Dillons. 174—176 Argyll Street, 248 4814. Sat 11. l-2pm. Free. The popular and proliﬁc Scots author will be signing copies of his new novel Complicity (little. Brown £15.99). Signed copies can be reserved by phoning the branch.
I Margaret Thomson Davis John Smith & Son. 57 Vincent Street, 221 7472. Tue 14. 6.30pm. Free. The popular Glaswegian author will be reading from and signing copies of her latest novel A Sense Of Belonging (Random Century £15.99), with musician/bookseller Adam McNaughton supplying some songs.
I Ken Canter John Smith & Son, 252 Byres Road. 334 2769. Tue 14. 7pm. Free. The radio and music journalist will talk about and sign copies of his new book In Session Tonight: The BBC Radio 1 Sessions (BBC Books £17.99), possibly with some special star guests in attendance.
I ﬂoueeale a Pablo lends Larkﬁeld Centre, lngleﬁeld Road (off Butterbiggins Road), Govanhill, info Margaret Murray 423 9448/Jim Ferguson 357 0907. Fri 17, 7-11pm. Sat 18, noon-5pm and
7-11.30pm. A commemorative event to mark twenty years since the death of acclaimed Chilean poet and freedom ﬁghter Pablo Neruda whose funeral, shortly after the 1973 coup. became one of the ﬁrst demonstrations against the new military regime; Saturday is also Chilean Independence Day. Friday evening will see readings from Scottish writers including Edwin Morgan and Tom Leonard, plus music and bar. On Saturday there will be workshops on Neruda‘s life and work. and others on sundry bookish themes, plus bookstalls, refreshments and a creche, with more readings (and music) in the evening from James Kelman, Agnes Owens and others.
I Willi. Boyd John Smith & Son. 57 Vincent Street. 221 7472. Mon 20. 12.30pm. Free. The award-winning author of the hugely popular Brazzaville Beach will be signing copies of his new novel The Blue Aﬂemoon (Sinclair-Stevenson £14.99).
I Defending The m Glasgow Environmental Book Group. Renﬁeld St Stephen's Centre. 248 6864. Mon 20, 7.30pm. Free. Discussion of the book by David Levine.
I John Mitchell John Smith & Son. 57 Vincent Street. 221 7472. Thurs 23, 6.30pm. Free. The alter ego of
schoolmaster Mom's Simpson will be reading from and signing copies of his latest collection of ﬁctionalised classroom memoirs Chalks Away (Hodder & Stoughton £5.99) after an introductory talk by Jack McLean and Frank Pignatelli.
I Iain Banks James Thin, 57 George Street. 225 4495. Fri 10. 7pm. Free — tickets from branch. The highly p0pu1ar and equally proliﬁc Scots author will be reading from and signing copies of his new novel Complicity (little. Brown £15.99).
I Ell McBain Waterstone's. 83 George Street, 225 3436. Mon 13, 7.30pm. Free. The doyen of American thriller writers will be reading from and signing copies of his new novel Mischief (Hodder & Stoughton £9.99).
I Tony Omit St Cecilia's Hall, Cowgate. Mon 17, 7pm. £2 (tickets from James Thin, 53—59 South Bridge. 556 6743. redeemable against copies of the book on the night) Free. Workshop/demonstration by the author of the popular self-help books Use Your Head and Use Your Memory. based on his new opus The Mind Map Book (BBC Books £16.99). which describes ‘a revolutionary method of accessing intelligence'.
I William Boyd Waterstone‘s. 83 George
Street. 225 3436. Fri 17. 7.30pm. Reading and signing session with the award— winning author of the hugely popular Brazzaville Beach. talking about his new novel The Blue Afternoon (Sinclair- Stevenson £14.99).
I Viscount Lindley Henry Duncan House (TSB Building) George Street; tickets from Waterstone‘s. 83 George Street. 225 3436. Tue 21. 6.30pm. £15 (includes drink and light supper). An illustrated lecture on the Viscount’s new book Classical Furniture (Pavilion £35).
I Sebastian Faulks Waterstone's, 128 Princes Street. 226 2666. Tue 21. 7pm. The highly-respected English author reads from and signs copies of his new novel Birdsong (Hutchinson £14.99) set during the First World War.
I Write 0n: Vlriters’ Workshop Conference Room. Central Library. George [V Bridge. 225 5584. Wed 22. ~2—3.30pm. Free (tickets from library). ‘Taster session' with Susan Collin for anyone interested in starting to write.
I Kitty lapek Waterstone‘s. 83 George Street. 225 3436. Thurs 23. 7.30pm. Free. A business lecture by the author of Strategy-Led Business: Step-By-Step Strategic Planning for Your Business (McGraw-Hill £19.95).
The List 10-23 September 1993 13