Rock & Roll Traveler
Tim Perry and Ed Glinert (Fodor £12.99) *****
Imagine a Rough Guide to America written by a pair of music trivia Junkies who know every bourbon jornt between San Francisco and Washington DC. Pretty neat idea, huh? Well here it is. The two authors have catalogued every live music venue and rock 'n’ roll landmark (including crash sites for the ghoul hounds) in all the States that matter and told you where to find them. The best places to eat, sleep, watch and listen to music are lovingly listed, along with a host of top anecdotes. This is as a good a sit-down read as it is a guidebook -- there's no need to do the rubberneck tourist schtick when you've got this in your pocket. Buy it or you’ll never go to the rock 'n' roll laundry in Cincinnati or find out just how close REM came to being called the Cans Of Piss. (JT)
Anonymous (Fourth Estate £9.99) 1: *
A Parisian cause celebre, Lila Says arrives trailing a tantalising back story. The manuscript for this amour fou from France’s ghettos -- try Betty Blue meets La Haine for a sound bite summing up i- was delivered in the form of two exercise books, With the text written in biro. The writer remains anonymous, though Fourth Estate suggests it could have been the work of a 'poorly educated Arab immigrant’
The novel revolves ar0und the relationship between sixteen-year-old Lila, an 'angel With the mouth of a whore’ and her Arab 'tape recorder' Chimo, the narrator. Throughout the book Lila constantly (prick)teases Chimo with tales of her possibly fictional sexual exploits and desires. Poetically written it may be, but it's the poetry of pornography. Lila is little more than a male fantasy figure -— her character is defined solely by her sexuality and, depressingly, she is ultimately punished for that reason. All of which leaves a sour taste, considering parts of the novel are very good indeed. (TN
The Collector Collector
Tibor Fischer (Secker And Warburg £12.99) **
Tibor Fischer has a fine comic talent. His first novel Under The Frog, was a pmgnant, funny tale set in wartime Hungary. His second -- The Thought Gang was a hilarious romp involvrng philosophising bank robbers Sort is disappomting to see this gift squandered in The Collector Collector. The book is narrated by ’a bowl With 50ul' -- a vase ancient beyond imagining and more mysterious than Fischer can apparently be bothered explaining Since the inanimate narrator has been everywhere and seen everything, Fischer is able to intersperse his plot wrth secondary tales either invented or remembered by the vase. However, as the bowl doesn't move of its Own accord, too many stories end With a cop Out ’l'd like to tell you the end, but I wasn’t around to witness it ’ Others seem fun but irrelevant to the plot. Most unsatisfactory of all, the central tale of Rosa, an artefacts expert, unlucky in love, fails to grip as she and her acquaintances are merely caricatures. (SN)
Facts And Fancies
Armando Iannucci (Michael Joseph £9.99) it t it *
Despite the public eVidence given by Thatcher’s Cabinet, there is much to be said for an Oxbridge education. Take the Wit of Armando Iannucci, writer of a fistful of TV comedy successes such as Friday Night Armistice and On The Hour. How else c0uld he have acquued so dry a use of InlllnSlCally wet words like ‘phlegm'? Facts And Fantasies contains no Jokes. This capricious collection of observations, some culled from his fortnightly column in The Guardian, contains not a Single punchline. Which does not make it unfunny. Far from it. The humour lies in the absurdity and tangential treatment Iannucci gives the subrects of his Wit. From the purely comic (what would happen if nOise was solid?) to the vaguer serious (politics and the Lottery), this reflection on modern life Will prowde much pleasure When dipped into frequently. (TD)
I, Phoolan Devr
Phoolan Devi (Warner £6.99) tiit ' Better known as India's Bandit Queen, Dew, havrng suffered extreme poverty
and Violence, defied her nation's 2 government and an entire culture to
fight for the rights of low-caste Indians, relentlessly campaigning and stealing if necessary. She was
' undaunted by imprisonment and her
release was followed by election to Parliament. This shocking but uplifting
autooiography eschews-media glamorisation (SM)
Bloomsbury film classics
Films of the book, books of the film, tie-ins, novelisations . flirting going on between cinema and literature, but it doesn't always lead to a happy consummation. Bloomsbury has proved a top matchmaker, by publishing a series of cult novels linked to cult films and presenting them in a manner that has a whiff of style rather than marketing sheen. In each case, the most memorable elements of the movie are cast aside and the individual book's genre emerges more strongly.
Diva (£4.99, * t t) by Delacorta shakes off the film's vacuous visuals and becomes a concentrated crime story with self-conscioust offbeat characters. Robert Bloch's Psycho (£5.99, at * it t) is a psychological horror classic, with disturbing and darkly comic dialogues between
. . there's a lot of
Psycho l Robert.
Norman Bates and Mother. Bullitt (£5.99, * *ir *) by Robert L. Pike replaces Hollywood hunk Steve McQueen and a breakneck car chase with a dog-tired, totally believable cop working methodically through his latest case and letting us pick up the clues along the way like a solve-it-yourself mystery. Evan Hunter’s exposé of juvenile delinquency in a 19505 vocational school, The Blackboard Jungle (£6.99, * bk), sets the pattern for countless classroom battles between idealistic teachers and trouble-makers, but its cynical staff room dialogue sounds remarkany modern.
A chance, then, for these novels to slip out of the shadows cast by the flickering light of the big screen. (Alan Morrison)
as THELIST 2i Mar—3 Apr l997
Tibor Fischer Wed 2 Apr. 7pm. £2 lredeernable against book purchases). Waterstone's. l32 Union Street. 22l 0x90. The acclaimed novelist and winner of' the Betty Ti'ask Award. among others. is present to read and sign copies of his latest novel ('o/lei'tnr; (‘o/leetririSecker (v Warburg £ l 2.99 ).
Alan Warner Wed 2 Apr. 7pm. £2 (redeemable against book purchases ). Waterstone's. I32 Union Street. 22]
0890. The writer reads from his new novel 'I‘lrete I)(‘Ill('lll¢’r/ lent/x ((‘ape £9.99).
Des Dillon Thurs 3 Apr. 7pm. John Smith t‘t Son. 57 St \'incent St. 22| 7472. Des Dillon signs copies of life lz'mptv l:\l'g_\‘ll £6.99).
Roddy Martine 8: Roger Smith Tue 25 Mar. 7pm. James Thin. 53—59 South Bridge. 556 6743. A launch for both the (vim/met [litre/it (futile to Edinburgh by Martine (.-\P.»\ £3.99) and the Compact [trite/it 'lil The Scottish Hig/r/um/t by Smith (APA £3.99).
Will Hutton Tue 25 Mar. 7pm. \Vaterstone's l fiast find) l3 l4 Princes Street. 556303-1/5. Unfortunately this event has been postponed until a later
lmaginings Of Sand Andre Brink (Minerva £6.99) **
Embracing the currently popular theme of South Africa on the verge of change, Kristien Muller returns to her homeland to tend to her isolated and dying grandmother, injured in a terrorist attack, and to claim her legacy. This recounts the old woman's memoirs and perceptions. Undoubtedly well-crafted but curiously tedious. (SM)
Graham Swift (Picador £5.99)
at t it *
Four men are drawn together by the death of their old friend, butcher Jack Dodds, meeting in a London pub for the drive to Margate seafront Where Jack has requested his ashes be scattered. Their time together airs their collective memories and interpretations of the past. lmmensely readable 1996 Booker Prize-winner. (SM)
The Dustbin Of History
Griel Marcus (Picador £6.99) tr 1% 1? ‘k
Constantly captivating, Marcus turns his cultural eye to histOry in an attempt to pinpomt the events which have shaped our world, urging us to realise the implications of our actions in the present. Drawing heavrly from literature (Eco), music (Dylan) and film (Wenders), his vision is a complex beast. (SM)
REVIEWERS THIS ISSUE:
Thom Dibdin, Teddy Jamieson, Susan Mackenzie, Stephen Naysmith, Jonathan Trew.
date. Ticket holders should contact the branch for details.
Edinburgh Science Festival Wed 26 Mar. 7pm—8pin. James Thin. 53—59 South Bridge. 556 6743. The Festival launch of Zeitgeist (£9.50). a new science review with various famous speakers: lain Banks on science fiction. Martha Phelps Borrowman on gender inequality in science teaching. Brian McCabe on poetry and Dr Nicholas Dixon on underwater archaeology.
The Shore Poets Sun 30 Mar. 8pm.
£ l ( free). The Pruitmarket Gallery. 45 Market Street. For details contact Ken (‘ockburrr 555 l875. The poetry events continue with an evening with Janet Paisley. Ken Cockburn and new poet (iavin Jones. and music courtesy of liileen Penman.
Hattie Hayridge Thurs 27 Mar. 7pm. Waterstone's lliast find). l3/14 Princes Street. 556 303-1. Hattie llayridge. also known as Holly from the television series Rer/ Dii‘urt; as well as for her frequent appearances as a stand-up comic at the l‘ringe. signs copies of her recent book Rum/rim .‘i/M'Il'tlt'l .llemory (Penguin £5.99).
Kate Atkinson Mon 31 Mai: 7pm. £3.
The Traverse Theatre. l0 Cambridge
Street. 228 3223. Author of' the Whitbread prize—winning novel Behind The Seenex xi! The Museum gives a talk at The Traverse and reads from her newest book Human ('rm/uet ('l‘ransworld £l5.99). An ideal opportunity to ask questions and have your books signed.