new titles


Los Alamos

Joseph Kanon (Abacus £15.99) ****

An espionage novel par excellence has arrived, courtesy of this American publishing kingpin. New Mexico in 1945 is the backdrop for Kanon’s vividly cinematic thriller With an imaginary setting. A murder brings journo-hound Connolly to a top secret desert community the unofficial home of the atomic bomb and Manhattan Project. The claustrophobic atmosphere Of a tiny community rich With rumour, betrayal and guilt burns iridescent through the pages. Double- dealing East European scientists, army OffiCials and an illicit love affair are thrown into the brew of nascent Cold War paranOia, making for a gripping twilight zone of literary merit. In this fact-fiction composne, Kanon handles his historical subject matter With consummate confidence While demonstrating a rein-tight hold on the snappy dialogue, that in turn kicks the intelligent plot along srnartish style. John Le Carre has a new competitor. (AD)


Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Roddy Lumsden (Bloodaxe £7.95) ****

Perhaps the finest poem in this debut collection, from Edinburgh-based writer Roddy Lumsden, touches directly

upon the alienating experience of

returning to the parental hearth after a bOut of night-time anXiety. Entitled 'Boomerang’, it is perfect in metre, syntax and metaphor, and between these pages it is in good company. Never reliant on introspt-‘ction, Lurnsden knows how to weave magic With everyday themes: the delusions of alcohol, the (itiizmaster's domain, inSights gleaned from sexual encounters and bygone relationships.

The wellspring of irony in Scottish 3 traditions and the labyrinth patterns of

city life are c ounterpoint to these concerns Their poetic power, however,

derives from Lumsdcn's soulful




Sarah Kennedy l-‘ri ll .Iul. 13.3(inii. I)illons. I74 I76 Argyle Street. 348 48 H. Award-w iiitiiiig broadcaster and author of 'Ierri/i/e 'Iii'os will be signing

CODICs of her new Iloyel ('Iior/otte's 3 Friends (Hodder t‘c Stougliton U699).


Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair Until Sat l3 .lul. .\'elsoii Hall. McDonald Road Library. McDonald Road. l-‘or further information call Word

Power bookshop on 662 9| 13.

listed below is a selection of the remaining events on oll‘er.

Publishers' Stalls And Displays Hi 1 I Jul. Iflain 7pm; Sat l2 .lul. Illain 4.30pm.

doubling-back on shared doubts and vanities, whereby the language sparkles and meaning sears like a spear through the rib-cage. This marks him out as a poet of some presence, head and shoulders above fake wordsmiths and their idle circus tricks. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah is cause for celebration. (DM)

News Of A Kidnapping

Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Jonathan Cape £16.99) *1: it

Reading News OfA Kidnapping is the equivalent of being given a new set of glasses if you’re short-sighted. The reader’s hazy, blurred, Eurocentric knowledge of recent Colombian history is brought into sharp focus by a plainly told, but compelling, account of the kidnapping of ten people by drug baron Pablo Escobar in 1990. Escobar, boss of the Medellin cocaine cartel, seized relatives of Colombian politicians to give him leverage in his battle against the threat of extradition to the US. Novelist Marquez uses the stories of the ten Victims as a prism through which to examine the national psychosis of a country tearing itself apart through ciVil war. It’s a riveting narrative, but What hits home most is the ViVIdness With Which Marquez captures the kaleidoscope of emotions the kidnap Victims and their families endure a dark mixture of pain, terror and fleeting hope that is, at times, heart-stoppineg movmg. (TJ)

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: 'riveting'

After Zaire: The End Of Dictatorship In Africa? Hi I I Jtil. l~2pin. Wole Soyinka leads this discussion. Geographies Of Resistance (Routledge 1997) Fri I l Jtil. 7pm. A book launch and discussion with one of the contributors. Paul Routledge. who was in Nepal at the time of the rexolution in I990. Ile will be joined by a speaker from the Save The PI‘(’.\‘.\‘III(’IIIlttll ll'ooi/s campaign. with contributions Tl'tllll other activist groups.

Make Your Own Book Sat 12 Jul. lt).3()—l 1.45am. A workshop for children in the art of writing their own stories and making them into books.

Hamish Henderson Sat 12 Jul. noon. Readings from the atltltot"s edited collection of Prison Letters 0/ (irrnnxei (Pluto Press). with an insight into the life and work of (irainsci.

1947: Partition Or Independence Sat I2 Jul. l.3() 2.45pm. A discussion on the creation of liidia and Pakistan with Satwat Rehinan and Sharniila Soekhoe.

FICTION The First $20 Million Is Always The Hardest

Po Bronson (Minerva £9.99) ***

Bombardiers Po Bronson (Minerva £6.99) * i M

Wired is more than just a computer magazine. In its world-view, technology is rock 'n’ roll, as vital as Oasis and sexier than the Spice Girls.

Its writers see hi-tech not in terms of profit margins. more as the gateway to Utopia. So when feature writer Po Bronson turned his hand to novels it was inevitable he would address that dynamic.

Wired writer: Po Bronson

In The First $20 Million Is Always The Hardest, four idealistic programmers take on the big boys with an invention they believe will change computing,

and possibly even society itself.

It is a gripping tale, and an insight into how the business works, but reader beware: it is not for the technophobic and has a largely male appeal. The two female characters are wafer-thin. and the plot could perhaps be

dismissed as ’boys' games'.

Nevertheless, Bronson's obvious knowledge of the computer business leaves you wondering just how many of the manipulative scams he

describes are based on fact.

Reissued simultaneously in paperback, Po's best-selling debut Bombardier: was the subject of rave reviews on its release. Based on his experiences as a bond trader on Wall Street, it has also been dismissed as a yuppie ripoff of Catch-22. Well on this evidence, there's no harm in that. (Stephen Naysmith)


Fall On Your Knees

Ann-Marie MacDonald (Vintage £6.99) * it it t

The debut novel from playwright MacDonald happily fits the billing 'saga', but eaSily outshines its label-mates. Charting an oft-overlooked period of sOCial change, it begins in Nova Scotia at the turn of the century. Following James Piper, his Lebanese bride and their four daughters, the narrative takes us through World War I to the embryonic New York jazz scene (SM)

Esau Philip Kerr (Vintage £5.99) ~k **

Edinburgh-born Kerr is fast budding a back catalogue of adventure yarns which have earned him comparisons to Michael Crichton. Climbing Machhapuchhare, a forbidden Nepalese mountain, Jack is blessed to

Cool To Be Gay: An End Of Homophobia? Sat l2 Jul. 3 «4pm. A talk on the need to develop lesbian and gay identities in Scotland. and the relevance of' gay activism for young gays. With Iona Mc(iregor and Bob ()rr. plus contributors from gay youth projects and the Lesbian Mothers' Support Group. The Red Night Sat l2 Jul. S---iiiidniglit. £4 (£3.50). Southside Community Centre. Nicolson Street. An evening with writers. performers and musicians living in Scotland to celebrate the first Iidinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair.

Diana Gabaldon Fri ll Jul. (i.3()piii. .lanies Thin. 57 George Street. 325 4-195. The author will be reading and talking about the fourth book in her romantic series Drums ()/’Autionn (£5.99 Hutchinson).

Sarah Kennedy Sui l2 Jul. l2.3()--l.3()pin. James Thin. 57 George Street. 235 4-195. Popular broadcaster and author will be signing copies of her

surVive an avalanche. His coincidental discovery, however, of the skull of a seemingly primitive man sets off an all- action series of events encompassmg eSpionage and nuclear war. (SM)

Mr Nice: An Autobiography

Howard Marks (Minerva £5.99)

.* * it i it

Marks: eprOitative drug-dealing scum or clever, talented, well-connected, charismatic, and not a little sexy? You decide (although in Mr Nice, the latter Wins hands down). Told With candour and Wit, Marks’s memoirs don’t seek sympathy or judgement, his life unfolding as an ab5urd adventure pinpointing the corruptibility of human nature. (SM)


Ann Donald, Teddy Jamieson, Susan Mackenzie, Deirdre Molloy, Stephen Naysmith

new novel (‘lior/otteiv Friends (Ilodder 8: Stottghton No.99).

Live Poetry Sun l3 Jul. 7.30pm. 1; l .50 (£1 J. The l"ruitmarket (iallery. 45 Market Street. 335 2383. An evening of poetry with Elizabeth Burns. Maureen Sangster and Mary Mc(‘ann.

Margaret Thompson Davis Mon 14 Jul. (i.3()pm. James Thin. 57 (ieorge Street. 325 4495. The author will be reading and talking about her latest historical novel Burning Ambition (l3 & W £14.99). nyona Campbell Tue l5 Jul. 7pm. Waterstone's. l3 -l-1 Princes Street. 556 3034. The woman who has walked more miles than most will be talking about her book ’I‘lie II'Iio/e Storv.‘ A II'o/k Around The Iliir/i/ (()rion L'o99).

Pat Gerber Wed lo Jul. 7pm. James Thin. 53259 South Bridge. 556 (3743. The author will be talking about his intriguing story of the symbolic Stone. The Search For The Stone ()7 l)e.\'tin\' (£6.99 (‘anongatel

11~24 Jul 1997 THE USTTS