I M Paradise Cate Jane Smiley (Flamingo £5.99) Following the well— received Moo. this is a disconcerting study of familial discord. As her husband Ike lies dying upstairs. the fatnin lynchpin. his wife Anna. is downstairs with their three well-meaning but misguided daughters and young granddaughter. Their mission is to reconcile their differences and reach a new level of understanding. (Susan Mackenzie)

I Boyfriends And Girlfriends Douglas Dunn (Faber And Faber £5.99) When poets turn their hand to fiction. the result is often a weak, overly complicated affair. Dunn. however. as his second short story collection proves. is an accomplished tale- teller. Set mainly in Scotland. these character-led tales demonstrate old-school craftsmanship in the form. The result is an immediate. warm read.

I Mother Of Pearl Mary Morrissy (Jonathan Cape £9.99) Having been confined to a sanitorium as a young woman. Irene Rivers is denied a family yet determined to secure one. ultimately kidnapping a baby in her attempts. Through the eyes of all concerned. Morrissy examines the reactions to this act. its causes and fatalistic effects. An unusual and enveloping debut novel.

I Helsinki (not the town) F. N. O’Gafferty (dualchas £4.99) The seventh in dualchas‘s pamphlet prose series does not seem to be their lucky number. At first thisjigsaw of vignette. script. dialogue and prose appears enticing. carving slices from the lives of hard-living. working class Glaswegians and gracing them with mythological titles. The reality however. is a tad too cleverclever and forced.

I All The Trouble In The World P. I. O’Rourke (Picador £6.99) Subtitled The Lighter Side of Famine. Pestilence. Destruction and Death. All The Trouble. . . finds O’Rourke involved in global meanderings. enveloping everything from overpopulation to multiculturalism. fashionable worries to famine. Maintaining his trademark slick penmanship and unexpected. booby trap humour. he blends facts and statistics with arguments. theories and projections. See The Write Stuff.


I Cycle 0! Violence Colin Bateman (HarperCollins £4.99) The Troubles thriller set in Northern Ireland is a lucrative but dated genre and Colin Bateman disrespects all its hackneyed tropes. Heroes are a joke and,clichés explode everywhere like land mines. It is a place. after all. where IRA men are hairdressers by day. and priests abused children for decades without public comment.

Belfast journalist Miller is relocated to the weekly paper of Crossmaheart. and along with his trusty bicycle. becomes entangled in a web of tenor and romance. With its racy storyline. deadpan dialogue and cutting asides on the paramilitaries. police and shopkeepers of Crossmaheart. the novel has no pretensions to political insight but paints a vicious tableaux of Ulster small town life.

In step with changing times. though. the boot is on no particular foot here - just kicking in free fall. Like Flann O’Brien on speed. Cycle Of Violence is grim and hilarious. Irish pulp with a grinning black heart. (Deirdre Molloy)


I Ocean Of Sound David Toop (Serpent‘s Tail £10.99) The problem with writing a popular book on ambient music is that the nearest the genre gets to a star is Brian Eno. Your ambient musicians are more likely to be driving their listeners into a trance than cadillacs into swimming pools. The watery analogy is a good one. While rock and pop are confined to the shallow end. ambient music really is an ocean music with ritual. mood- enhancing or hedonistic effect. music

which accentuates and stimulates action and such vast depths require precise charting.

Toop argues that ambient started when Debussy heard a Gamalan drum orchestra in 1889 and continues to encompass the DJ culture of modem dance music. More than theoretical analysis. this is an articulate. well- informed examination of the role of music in society. Toop is over-fond of lists of composers or influences. but this book excites your interest and stimulates you to find more to read and ' listen to. (Thom Dibdin)


I Voodoo Child: The Illustrated legend 0t Jiml Hendrix Martin 1. Green and Bill Sienkiewicz (Penguin Studio £25) The concept of telling the life story ofJimi Hendrix in graphic novel form isn't exactly revolutionary celebrated rock hack Charles Shaar Murray and artist Floyd Hughes embarked on exactly the same project in the short-lived British comic Revolver five years ago. However. all things considered. this is a serviceable biography. a reminder that sometimes a single picture (or a sequence) can

actually take the place of great chunks of text.

Graphic novel megastar Sienkiewicz is in his familiar milieu of shiny art book paper and black borders. his liquidy. painterly style veering between the photographic and the abstract. often on the same page. The real prize here is the CD of six previously unreleased home recordings of Hendrix sketching out songs like ‘Angel' and ‘Hear My Train A'Comin" with only the accompaniment of his guitar. Never intended for public consumption. it’s a chance to eavesdrop on a master at work. (Alastair Mabbott)


I Marsalls On Music Wynton Marsalis (Norton £21.95) Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis follows in the footsteps of the likes of Leonard Bernstein in attempting a young person's guide to music. written from the point of view of a practising professional at the top of his trade. but aimed at nurturing the interest ofthe uninitiated.

Marsalis deals with both jazz and classical examples. but it is his

treatment ofjazz that gives the book

and its useful accompanying CD of musical examples —- its unique appeal. It is clearly written and colourfully illustrated, although the joking analogies Marsalis cannot resist may initate some readers. One word of caution: the terminology is all American. which might confuse anybody setting out to learn music in the UK. and the book is likely to be most useful in conjunction with the television programmes on which it is based (available separately on video from Sony). (Kenny Mathieson)


I The Herald Book of Old Finn Carries Fri 15 Dec. 12.30—1.30pm. John Menzies. 36—38 Argyle Street. 204 0636. Billy McNeiIl and John Greig talk you through some of Celtic and Rangers‘ tnost notorious matches. and sign copies of their new book (Canongate £14.99).

I Gavin Hastings Tue 19 Dec. 4.30—5.30pm. John Smith’s. 57 St Vincent Street. 221 7472. The rugby star signs copies of his new book High Balls and Happy Hours (Mainstream £9.99).

I Glasgow Women’s library Fri 5 Jan.

10pm-2am. £4(£2). Assembly Rooms. Glasgow School of Art. Renfrew Street. Tickets and Info: 552 8345. The GWL presents ‘New Year's Revolutions’. a women’s disco to raise money for the Library. with music from DJ Michelle.

I The Five Cities Tour Fri 15 Dec. 7.30pm. £5 (£3). Fruitmarket Gallery. Market Street. 225 2383. A celebration of the poetry of Scotland. England. Northern Ireland. the Republic of Ireland and Wales. With readings from Iain Crichton Smith. R.S. Thomas. Michael Longley, Grace Nichols and Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill. I The Beadiscovery Book lee Fri 29—30

Dec, noon—5pm. Free. Royal Mile. Info: 0891 881996. Scotland's Book Campaign ’95 draws to a close with this book-1aden bus. organised as part of Edinburgh‘s Hogmanay celebrations. So before you fill your glass with a New Year’s dram. fill your mind with the power of the written word.


I The Herald Book of Old Finn Barnes Fri 15 Dec, 4.30—5.30pm. John Menzies. 14-16 High Street. 848 1742. Billy McNeill and John Greig read from and sign their new book (Canongate £14.99). detailing some of the finer matches of Scottish football giants Celtic and



From railway worker to one of America’s sharpest political humorists, P. J. O’Rourke has come a long way, as he tells Ann Donald.

ilame Patrick Jake O’Rourke. I don't think my parents knew how to spell Jacob. Age 48 Route to becoming a writer In college 1 was an English Major so I was reading a whole bunch. or at least 1 was supposed to be. So in the summer of 1967 I decided to be creative and write myself a book. Previous jobs In the summer of 1966 1 had my best job ever as a railroad breakline guy working between Toledo and Cleveland. I wore the railroad pants. had the hat and worked the freight trains. 1 also used to make architectural models back in Baltimore. Oaily Routine If 1 ‘m writing. I get up. fix myself a coffee and stay at my typewriter till I’ve written four pages or 1000 words. Other than that I drink. No. actually Tina [O’Rourke’s wife] and I usually go out with friends in Washington or New Hampshire. Influences In terms of writing. Jack Kerouac is my greatest influence as 1 think it‘s only upon considered maturity that I realise how easy he made it seem and it made me mistakenly think: ‘Oh I can do that.’ Reading has definitely influenced me more than movies or people. Ambitions For golf it's to get on the green in three. For hunting it would be nice to get a double on a woodcock. For fishing it would be nice to cast off at least once and not catch a bodypart. Since I’ve just got married I also have the ambition of having fourteen-eighteen children. Fears The usual stuff: pain. death and humiliation. Income Do you know how detailed the IRS get about this stuff? These last few years I’ve been very comfortable. 1n the six figures bracket? Yeah. but that's dollars. not pounds. Age And Guile Bea! Youth. Innocence And A Bad Haircut: 25 Years 0] P. J. 0 ’Rourke. is published by Picador at £15.99. All The Trouble In The World by P. .I. O'Rourke is published in paperback by Picador at £6. 99.

The List 15 Dec 1995-11 Jan 19961”