uuoen THE covens 1

Teenage Fanclub supremo Gerard Love tells Ann Donald about his catholic ' reading taste.

Ive been reading quite a lot recently and loved both Albert (‘amus‘s The Outsider and Andre (iidc's Strait /.v The I (Jute. I used to be scared to read books like them when l was younger. in the satne way that l was frightened of listening to jazz. There seems to he a latent snobbishness against all that but it‘s really just simple stuff when you find something that‘s right for you. 1 read Voltaire‘s short book (’uni/n/e on the train recently and really enjoyed that. But five or six years ago I'd never have bought it just iii case anyone saw me and thought I was pretentious. But all these books are really very easy to understand and not pretentious at all.

‘l'd been reading a lot of books by Charles Btrkowski and Jack Kerouac and all the beat stuff and I think that reading Camus and Gide is just going further back to people that felt the same way about things btrt in a different era. Strait Is The Gate is set in the mid 19th century in France and revolves around the male character who falls in love with his cousin when they‘re both still children. though the female thinks she‘s got to keep away from him in order to keep his soul pure. Both have been brought tip in a very religious background. so their initial relationship is based upon discussions about spirituality and philosophy. Basically it's about romance versus religious upbringing.

‘1 had a real bout of flu just after Christmas so 1 was reading a lot then and picked up 'I'ruinsponine by Irvine Welsh. I‘d just read William Burroughs‘s book Junkie the day before so it was kind of like method reading (laughs). It was good to compare both books. Junkie was a lot tnore romantic as he was dealing with 50s America where the gtrys using it were a lot older because they were the only ones who could afford it. You had Burroughs travelling all the way to Mexico to try out a new brand and sttrff like that. He made it a lot more romantic than 7i'uinsputting which exposed the urban reality behind that myth. 1 actually found 'I‘rainspntting a hard read because at times [just wanted to close it or finish it. It trapped you in this horrible reality where it presented you with a situation but didn‘t offer any answers. It was still a good book. though I don't know if I'd read

anything else by him.‘


Cowboy blues

The foyer of Glasgow’s Hilton, a kind of Disneyworld art deco echo in

various shades of ochre, has about it

an air of quiet afternoon serenity as . singing cowboy, gynaecologist and

; raconteur Hank Wangford’s

conversation turns to the subject of . cattle’s thyroid and how nice it tastes. =

On one level, a travelogue through South America, Wangtord’s book Lost Cowboys also works as a cultural history of the horsemen cowboys - encountered along the way: the gauchos of Argentina and vaqueros of

; Mexico. For vegetarian readers,

though, the book may work best as a vision of Hades, Wangtord’s inferno. A phenomenal amount of meat is put

3 away on the pampa.

I ‘It would be hell for a vegetarian,

l yeah,’ agrees Wangtord. ‘But, the

i molleias - the thyroid - is absolutely

i delicious. The cattle are so healthy.

; All they do is eat grass, get slaughtered . . . and you eat them.

; There’s no insecticides, no antibiotics, ! the meat is really good, organic food. I still hanker after the steaks. And the

l intestines too.

i Yum. Through the folklore and

l histories of these horsemen, Wangtord 1' develops a unique, vivid and hitherto

1 hidden picture of South America’s

early political development. The book’s big coup, though, is in

i conclusively presenting the ‘cowboy’

j as being a Hispanic tradition, roundly

I trumping the Anglicized six-shooter of g cultural predominance.

i ‘Mexican cowboys were the real

cowboys and they taught the American : cowboys everything,’ says Wangtord.

g ‘The white Anglo-cowboy was all

1 about manifest destiny, wiping out the ; Indian and grabbing the land. The

i gaucho was much more on that knife

1 edge between what was called “Indian” and European, more involved 7 in the indigenous culture. And all the

1 Hispanic cowboys look down on the

3 white cowboys much more than the

l other way round.’ (Damien love)

Lost Cowboys by Hank Wangtord is published by Victor Gollancz at

: £16.99.


I Boy Soldiers Aaron llicklin (Mainstream Publishing £5.99) In the l990s. following a decade of Thatcher- inspired jingoism. grown men play war games for ftrn and teenagers Jamie Pctrolini and Richard lilsey looked upon SAS soldiers as the perfect role models.

In journalist Aaron llicklin's noti- sensationalised. well-researched. chilling account of a brutal murder and portrayal of its teenage perpetrators. a pictttrc of two pathetic. lorrcy boys

. emerges; one a proficient liar. the other

a naive believer. llicklin describes how fantasy rapidly

i overtook reality in the military a landscape the boys created for j themselves through their mutual obsession with the army. abetted by their apparent passion for Andy McNab's best-selling account of life in the SAS, lil'ilt'u Two Zero. While not exonerating the two boys. j llicklin feels society rutrst trltirrrately j shoulder much of the responsibility for nurturing them in a ‘climate which still celebrates tnale violence'. They emerge as victims of the ‘cult of masculinity". This is a riveting and horrifying read 5 which leaves the reader with a sense of ' unease. wondering at the value ofthis type of book. much as the merit of [intro 'Iii'o Zero seems ultitnatelv i questionable. (Katy Lironi)


I Debatable Land C‘andia McWilliam (Picador £5.99) Six disparate characters. three Scottish. are flung together on a yacht sailing from Tahiti to New Zealand. The voyage compels an exploration of the characters. their roots and those of others. In McWilliam's third and rrrost accorrrplished novel. the romance of the South Seas contrasts wonderfully with the austerity of Scotland‘s landscape and culture.

I Di and I Peter l.ecout'l ((iollancz £4.99) ' During his research for :i mini-series of her life. a l-lollyvvood screenwriter and Princess Diana fall in love. ultimately eloping to run a .‘vIcDonalds. Subtitled 'The Novel'. its cover sporting a nude holding a tiara and its author the winner of an litnmy for work on (ire/revuni/111(1)}; this hook is ludicrous. laughable and a lot I of fun.

I I The Mangan Inheritance Brian Moore

I (lilamingo £5.99) James Mangan. failed

1 poet and loser in love. retreats to his


father's country home where he discovers i a photograph of a lookalike Irish ancestor l atrd fellow poet. llis efforts to uncover rrtore about his background reveal disturbing and mystifying truths. Side- stepping the poetic in favour of a splendid yarn. this is original and addictive. I Foreign Correspondent: Paris in the Sixties Peter Lennon (Picador £5.99) (‘ulminating in the May revolt of 1968. l.ennon documents ten years as a reporter for The (innit/inn based in Paris. An idiosyncratic. anecdotal and educational account of a vibrant decade. I The Ragged Lion Alan Massie (Sceptre £5.99) A work of fiction documenting the life and works of Sir Walter Scott while speculating on the inner man. Massie‘s book offers a historical high of the quality to which we have become accustomed. (Susan Macken/iel


I Forest Wilson The IS Jul. 2pm. ('(‘A. Studio. 350 Sauchiehall Street. 332 7521. 50p. 8~l l years. A L'llilllCL‘ to meet children's author and creator of .Sil/Jel'x’mlt. liorest Wilson. Part of a (‘(.‘A series of children's events. I Stewart Conn Thurs 20 Jill. 5.30pm. John Smith & Sort. L‘rriversity Avenue. 33-1 1210. Stewart Conn launches his poetry collection In the Blood ( Bloodaxe £6.95).

I Janet Paisley Thurs 20 .lul. 2pm. C'C‘A. Studio. 350 Sauchiehall Street. 332 7521. 50p. S—-l2 years. An event with poet and short story writer Janet Paisley. Part of a (CA series of children's events.

I Frank Rodgers Wed 26 Jul. 2pm. C(‘A. Studio. 350 Sauchiehall Street. 332 7521. 50p. 6 ~11 years. The (ilasgovv author of The Intergalactic Kite/ten. The Brink Bell Bus and Shape Slur/re Slim/i leads a story and drawing session. as part of a (‘CA series of children‘s everris.


I Blue Rain Mon 17 Jill. 8pm. Negociants. 45—47 I.othian Street. 22.5 6313. C‘ommemorating the 60th anniversary of the Spanish (‘ivil War. readings of poetry and prose front Mick Parkin arid performers la liscena.

I Alexander McCall Smith Wed 19 Jul.

1 Iain. McDonald Road Library. McDonald Road. 556 5630; 2.30pm. Portobello Library. Rosefreld Aventre. 669 5115. l‘Ii 21 Jul. 1 lam. Balgt'een Library. Balgreen Road. 337 7707. Stories and competitions for 7--10-year-olds. frorn the Scottish author.

I Stephen Whitehorne Thurs 20 Jul. 7pm. James Thitt. 53~59 South Bridge. 556 67-13. The walker and scrambler gives a talk and slideshovv'. relating to his new book lit'p/(irl'llg the Highlands ({fSFUIlUIH/ (Ward I.ock £16.99).

I Who’s Afraid of the Big Art Book?

; Thurs 20 Jul. 2—5pm. Fruitmarket Gallery. 29 Market Street. 225 2383. £12.50 (£5). A fortttn on contemporary art publications as a vital form ofcornrnunication between artist and art-lover.

I Poetry and Rebellion Strn 23 Jul. 8pm. Cafe Royal. 17 West Register Street. Tickets £4 (£2.50) from Ticketline. 220 4349. Words arid music on a Jacobite thenre. from lain (‘richton Smith. W. N. llerbert. Valerie Gillies and Anne Frater. I Richard Ford Mon 24 Jul. 7pm. Waterstone‘s. l3 Princes Street. 556 3034. Renowned American writer Richard Ford ‘reads from his latest novel Independence Day (Harvill. £14.99). the long-awaited follow up to his classic bestseller 'I'lie Sportswriter.

I Barry Graham Wed 26 Jul. 7pm. West and Wilde Bookshop. 25a Dundas Street. 556 0079. The lidinburgh-based.

I (ilasgwegiarr author reads from and signs l copies of his latest novel The Brink nj‘Mun (Serpent's Tail £8.99).

I Allan Massie, David Wishart and James Jauncey Thurs 27 Jul. 7pm. Three Scottish novelists read from their new books: Allan Massie will dip into Kine [)(ll'lt/ (Sceptre £15.99). David Wishart will read from ()vid (Sceptre £9.99) and

, James Jatrrrcey frotn The Map Maker

l (Sceptre £5.99).

The List 14-27 Jul 1995 81