UNDER THE COVERS '
Phlle Plnsky, member at Edinburgh pop group Finitrlbe (whose new album ‘Sheigra’ is released early May) discusses his thoughtful reading matter.
‘The book I most recently read was Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow, by Danish author Peter lleeg. It’s a thriller set in Greenland about a six- year~old boy who gets murdered in Denmark. Miss Smilla sets out trom Denmark to Greenland to iind his killer. I enjoyed how it because it was a mix of my two lavourite types oi book: thriller and philosophy.
‘The best book I’ve read on philosophy is by liay Monk, and it’s called ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty ot Genius. lt weaves philosophy and biography together and is a good explanation of Wittgenstein’s philosophy tor the layman. A Wittgensteinien-type book I read a tew years back and really enjoyed was llicholas Mosley’s llopetul Monsters. lie was the son of British tacist Oswald Mosley, and Oswald disowned him because he was concerned with humanity. It was the a story of how science, philosophy and love affected two people betore, during and after the World War II. It had a lot to do with quantum physics and I can remember thinking it was an important book, great even. I don’t get that with most books - most I normally read and torget.
‘To be honest, I’ve always been a bit oi a book scavanger. As a child I used to read what I could get from D.l..’s Book Exchange in Morningside. Growing up, I read a lot ot escapist, lantasy stutt like Enid Blyton. The problem is, looking back on it now, it’s really xenophobic. I actually came across one of her books later in lite called Little Black Sambo. It’s the story of this black boy and how nobody likes him because he’s black. But he does this good deed tor a tairy and she grants him whatever wish he wants. lle ot course wants to be white, she makes it rain, he turns white and then everybody likes him. Sad that.’ (Philip Dorward)
Row to look this well.
classiﬁed Health page 85.
I Signs Oi Lite edited by Jennifer Joseph and Lisa Taplin (Manic d Press £10.99) This latest offering from the San Franciscan altemative publisher is classiﬁed as pop-culture/literature and adheres strongly to its subtitle of Channel Surﬁng Through 90s Culture. In this disparate. disjointed collection of anecdotes, super-short stories. poems and comics from over 70 artists and authors. the quality ranges from sadly self-indulgent high school prose to on-
the-ball social comment ofa very American variety.
Between the neon-ﬂowered covers. drunks and drug-addicts share page space with slackers. ravers. cyberpunks and a myriad of acknowledged sub- sects as they surf along in the choppy tide that is America's alternative pre- millennium culture.
For what it‘s worth. this collection provides a mainly pain-free glide through the 90s where other anthologies tend to leave the reader stumbling in a tnire of pretentious. psuedo-political rambling. (Katy
E31131!— GIGGONE READS
I Gontusion ls llext - The Sonic Youth Story Alec Foege (Quartet £10) As Thurston Moore points out in his foreward. ‘There are no rock ’n’ roll incidents in la Led Zeppelin . . . the personal life of each member is not revealed‘. thus marking this volume as reading for the converted only. Exhaustiver researched with access to the band and contemporaries/conspirators from their decade. this is an accurate and informative. if ultimately dry. account of a career to date of probably one of the most inﬂuential American groups since the Velvet Underground.
While the non-musically minded may blanche at detailed sections on the group‘s experiments in open-tuning. the book works best as a kind of accidental sequel to Clinton Heylin‘s From The Velvets to The Voidoids which charts the development of American punk from the late 70s New York No Wave through to the current grass roots lo-fi revolutions, as viewed through the scratched Sonic Youth prism. (Damien Love)
IEIIE_ AMIS nevrsrrrn
I The Information Martin Amis (Flamingo £15.99) Though it‘s rarely admitted. Amis has been writing the same book for around twenty years. In .S‘ut't'ess. a novel about failure. he pitted brother against brother in a satire of jealousy and changing fortunes: in The Iii/orniu/imi. Richard Tull. impotent hack and mid-life crisis-torn novelist manque. plots vengeance on his best friend Gwyn Barry. best-selling novelist. ideal husband and
- disingenious creep.
Amis is the supreme comedian of male desparation and despair and this revenge comedy is full of familiar tropes: authorial intervention. complicated crims called Crash and SCOZX)’. upper-class skirt with names like Demeter and Callisto. tnediations on the death of the universe and the little death of coitus v- interru/nus or inconceivable.
A return to the hilarious form of Money. The Information is pregnant with the sorrows of middle-age. Gore Vidal once said: ‘Whencver a friend succeeds. a little something in tne dies.‘ For Amis. the dying begins the moment we‘re born. (David Harris)
EVENTS ‘ GLASGOW
I The Scottish Book Fair oi liadical Black and Third World Books 1995 Thurs 31—Sun 2. 10.30am—5.30pm. Partick Burgh Hall. Call 221 6380/357 5198 for details. Billed as ‘more than a platform for debate and the exchange of ideas; it is also a celebration of art. literature and creativity, of performance and participation.‘ Book stalls. forums. poetry. prose. music. video. creche and refreshments should make for an excellent weekend. Participants include Jim Kelman. Tom Leonard. Margaret Busby. John La Rose and The Sativa Drummers. I linton Kwesi Johnson and The Dennis Bovell Otlb Band Thurs 30. 8pm. The Ferry. £10. The Bookfair gets off to a strong start with a rare Scottish appearance from legendary dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson with reggae supremo Dennis Bovell also in attendance. See Rock listings.
I Michael Palin Sat 1. 12.30—1.30ptn. John Smith & Son. 57 St Vincent Street. 221 7472. A signing session only from the ex-Python man here to wax lyrical about his debut novel Hemingway '5‘ Chair (Methuen £14.99). See preview.
I Agnes Owens and Tom Leonard Wed 5. 7pm. £2/£1. CCA. 350 Sauchiehall Street. 332 7521. Owens‘ third novel A Working Mother (Bloomsbury £9.99) is a strange cautionary tale described as ‘a wee black nugget of nastiness'. Tom Leonard's new collection of poetry and prose. Reports
From The Present (Cape £9.99). continues to explore language. power. class and politics with humour and humanity.
I Ben Okl’i Thurs 30. 7.30pm. Waterstone‘s. 83 George Street. 225 3436. The 1991 Booker winner will be reading and signing copies of his latest mythic novel Astonishing The GUt/S (Phoenix House £12).
I Women’s Grime Writing Thurs 30. 7pm. Waterstone's. l3 Princes Street. 556 3034. Two acclaimed crime authors. Marcia Muller (7711 The Butcher's (‘ut Hint Down) and Mary Wings (She Came By The Book) both published by The Women's Press at £5.99. will be reading and signing copies of their novels.
I Simon Gallow Fri 31. 12.30pm. £2 tickets redeemable against purchase of the book. Traverse Theatre. Cambridge Street. 228 1404. Call Waterstone's 226 2666 for details. A reading and signing for his massive new biography of ()rson Welles. The Road '12) Xanadu (Cape £20). See Film section for review.
I Michael Palin Fri 31. 7.30pm. George Square Theatre. Call Waterstone‘s on 225 3436 for details. The ex-Python man reads from his first adult novel Hemingway's Chair (Methuen £14.99) which is about rural post offices. a man‘s obsession with Hemingway and the dehumanising effects of tnodern technology. See preview.
I Danah Zohar Fri 31. 7pm. Waterstone's. 128 Princes Street. 226 2666. As part of the Science Festival the quantam theory
expert will be explaining her latest mind-
boggling book Quantum SelﬂHarper Coilins £5.99).
I Michael Palin Sat 1. noon—1pm. James Thin‘s. The Gyle Centre. 539 7757. A signing session from the ex-Python hero for his ﬁrst novel Hemingway Zr (.‘lutir (Methuen £14.99). See preview.
I Joanna Trollope Mon 3. 7.15pm. BBC. Queen Street Studios. Call Waterstone's. 83 George Street. 225 3436 for details. A recorded special to celebrate the fact that this is Trollope’s first book in two years — The Best oj'l’riemls (Bloomsbury £15.99). I 3.0.3. Tue 4. 7pm. Waterstone's. 13 Princes Street. 556 3034. Exclusive footage and a talk based around the rescue mission last year of ten British soldiers who went missing in Borneo‘s Death Valley. Major Ronald Foster and Lt Colonel Robert Neill reveal all in their book 5.0.5. (Century £16.99).
I Martin Amis Tue 4. 7pm. Waterstone’s. I28 Princes Street. 226 2666. A reading and signing from the controversial and reputany £500.000-worth novel The Information (Flamingo £15.99).
I Andrew Grumey and Robert Irwin Wed 5. 7.30pm. Waterstone's. 83 George Street. 225 3436. The Saltire winner reads from his latest and highly praised ‘fiction within ﬁction' work l’ﬁtz (Dedalus £7.99) accompanied by Robert lrwin. whose book Exquisite Corpse (Dedalus £14.99) bodes of sex and surrealism.
I James Irvine Robertson Thurs 6. 1pm. James Thin. 53—59 South Bridge. 556 6743. A reading and signing from the author to promote his historical novel Lady of Kynue/um (Transworld £5.99).
SO The List 24 Mar-6 Apr 1995