The Proud Highway: Saga Of A Desperate Southern Gentleman. Letters 1955-1967
Hunter S. Thompson (Bloomsbury £20) he at: set
Love him or fear and loathe him, Hunter S. Thompson is the apotheosis of psychedelic/gonzo/New Journalism. The true heir to the righteous fervour of the Beats, the nemesis of one Richard Nixon, and a cultural icon celebrated as the inscrutable Duke in the Doonesbury cartoon strip. He excels in the art of abuse. Step up Ronald Reagan - ’a grinning whore who will someday be President’ (written in 1965), and Jack Kerouac — 'a mystic boob with intellectual myopia'.
If HST insults you, you stay insulted. It's not all amphetamine adventures and gun-toting madness, though there's plenty of that in this chunky volume of correspondence. Discover Thompson in the guises of Hemingway obsessed novelist, would-be US Ambassador to Samoa, apprentice existentialist, and rather touchineg in the case of one Hell’s Angels fixated fourteen-year-old fan, careers guidance counsellor. Genius is a glib epithet but here is one writer it fits. (RE)
Moab Is My Washpot
Stephen Fry (Hutchison £16.99) * it i *
Memoirs of rebellious public schoolboys should be as dull and out- dated as the system of privilege that spawned them, but Stephen Fry has a somewhat more dramatic tale to tell. By limiting his autobiography to the first eighteen years of his life, the actor and novelist gives his mental meanderings a loose narrative structure — from school to school, escalating from pickpocket to credit card thief — while stopping off on the way for philosophical excursions into the roots of homophobia or the joys of making music.
The ’story’ developments come in clumps, although the pace does pick up in the final quarter, but it's the way
Fry's intelligent, amiable personality seeps into the words that matters. There’s a well of feeling here, not just clever—clever wordplays. It's rare to emerge so completely entertained from a therapeutic exercise in putting an unruly life in order. (AM)
The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw: The Robin Friday Story
Paul McGuigan and Paolo Hewitt (Mainstream £9.99) ***
Robin who? According to Oasis bass player Guigsy and Paolo Hewitt, the Reading and Cardiff City striker with more birds than Bestie and more bookings than Chic Charnley, was one of the greatest players of the 705. And a neglected genius to boot. Wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that he was mad for it, would it lads?
Dead by the time he was 38, Robin Friday was more Shaun Ryder than Spice Boy. But for all its blokish bonhomie (Friday dancing naked in clubs; Friday popping pills and skinning up), this mix of match reports and testimony from those who saw him play smacks of likely-lad revisionism. A rough diamond in cloggerville he may have been. But Hewitt's contention that Friday never graced the top flight because big time managers were wary of taking on a Martini fuelled maverick never really rings true. Plenty of lads ruled the roost in the 705. And the fact that Robin Friday never did may simply have been because he wasn't good enough. (AC)
Walking In The Shade
Doris Lessing (HarperCollins £20) *****
The second and apparently last volume of Doris Lessing's autobiography documents the years 1949—62. Having left Southern Rhodesia to escape a domineering mother and a racist parochial society who regard her as a 'Red' and a ’kaffir lover’, she arrives in London, child in tow, with nothing in her suitcase but the manuscript of her first novel The Grass ls Singing. Writing in difficult conditions (she is hard-up and a single mother) she becomes politically active. The book charts her uneasy involvement with the Communist Party, while shedding light on the aspirations and sense of personal responsibility in post-war Britain at a time when the Cold War
Frank Kelly who is ’Father Jack’ From FATHER TED will be reading from 12 Days Of Chaos
Waterstone's West End 128 Princes Street Edinburgh
on 24th of October at 7.00pm Tickets Free / Wine will be served
94 THE LIST 23 Oct—6 Nov 1997
was beginning in earnest.
Her encounters with the century’s great opinion makers are vividly recalled and are by turns humorous and chilling. Never dull, Walking In The Shade is not only a great pleasure to read, it's an education. (AMa)
Don't Step On The Lines
Ben Richards (Review £6.99) * ‘k * t The Face hailed Richards’ second dose of urban angst as This Life in paperback. Mercifully, it’s nowhere near that torturous. Kerry goes to college after her boyfriend goes barking. Flatmate Marco trawls the gutters in search of a high. Robin, from a superior social plane, threatens to shift the goal posts for them both. Honest and insightful prose.(SM)
The Story Of The Night
Colm Toibin (Picador £6.99) * *1» Irishman Toibin's terse and blunt writing sets him apart from his contemporaries. Seventies Argentina is the setting for the story of teacher Richard Garay, socially inept and tormented by his homosexuality. Salvation comes in the form of an American couple who nurture his self-esteem, but the rigours of true love and the shadow of AIDS soon follow.(SM)
Karren Brady (Warner £5.99) it ‘k This is fantasy football of the most diabolical kind. The first woman to be appointed by a football club in an upstairs capacity — managing director at Birmingham City — Brady has utilised her experience of football and journalism. She worked at the Sunday Sport, you know. Plenty of pumping balls of all varieties, as expected. Next week, Fergus McCann pens his own courtroom drama. (80)
Free Association: An Autobiography
Steven Berkoff (Faber £7.99) it t 1' it
Britain’s scariest playwright produces a fairly gentle'and sympathet‘c work of self-analysis. He doesn’t like the critics, mind, and those who have got in his way, professionally and personally, get a rough ride. There are laughs to be had too, as Berkoff traces his life from quasv poverty in London to the theatrical fringes and the West End. (80)
REVIEWERS THIS ISSUE:
Alan Chadwick, Brian Donaldson, Rodger Evans, Susan Mackenzie, Alison Maxwell, Alan Morrison
Most of the events listed are part of Scottish Book Fortni ht which runs until Sat 1 Nov. SBF enotes Scottish Book Fortnight.
Sean Hughes Fri 24 ()ct. noon—1pm. Waterstone‘s. 153-157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. The star of Sean '5' Show
will be signing copies of his debut novel The Detainees (Simon & Schuster £12.99).
Frank Rodgers Fri 24 Oct. 3pm. John Smiths. 57 St Vincent Street. 221 7472. SBF. See Kids listings.
Michael W. Russell Fri 24 Oct. 8pm. Waterstone's. 153—157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. An illustrated talk on the extraordinary life of photographer Werner Kissling by the author of/I Poem OfRemote Lives (Neil Wilson Publishing £20). SBF.
Maria Hedderwick's Katie Morag Show Sat 25 ()ct. 2pm. Waterstone's. 153—157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. SBF. See Kids listings.
Dorothy Paul Sat 25 Oct. 11am. John Smith's. 57 St Vincent Street. 221 7472. The comedienne will be talking about and signing copies of Dorothy — Revelations Of/I Rejected Soprano (HarperCollins £9.99).
Antonio Carluccio Sat 25 Oct. 1pm. John Smiths. 57 St Vincent Street. 221 7472. The TV chef and food writer will be signing copies of his latest book ('arlta‘eio 3‘ Complete Italian Food (Quadrille £25).
Hugh Scott 'On Writing . . .’ Mon 27 ()ct. 8pm. £2. Waterstone’s. 153—157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. The children‘s author will be talking about creative writing techniques.
Colin Baxter Tue 28 ()ct. 8pm. Waterstone's. 153—157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. The renowned photographer talks about his new book Seat/am] From 771exlit‘ (Lomond Books £8). SBF.
Tom Shields Tue 28 ()ct. 6.30pm. John Smith‘s. 57 St Vincent Street. 221 7472. The writer and journalist will be talking about Tom Shields, Free At last (Mainstream £9.99).
Craig Charles Wed 29 ()ct. 8pm. £2. Waterstone‘s. 153—-l57 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. The star of' RM] Dwarf will be reading from The Log: A IJii'aij/eriv (inn/e 7o Everything (Penguin £9.99).
Jack Webster Thu 30 Oct. 7pm. John Smiths. 57 St Vincent Street. 221 7472. The author will be reading from his latest book ll’e/tvter'x World (B&W £14.99). Stuart Marshall Thu 30 ()ct. 7.30pm. (‘larkston Community Library. Clarkston Road. 577 4972. A talk on the history and personalities ol'classic Scottish golf by the author of (Me Up xlllt/ One To Go: .4 .Voxta/eit‘ Look .4! ('laxsit' (iol/(Stenlakc Publishing £6.50).
Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd and Christopher Simon-Sykes Thu 30 Oct. 8pm. Waterstone's. 153—157 Sauchiehall
[ Street. 332 9105. The launch of a new
illustrated book on Scots architecture. (;I'(‘(Il Hulta‘ex (Ifbtuﬂrtllr/ (Lawrence King £40). SIN”.
Gary Numan Fri 31 ()ct. 1.30—2.30pm. I)illons. I74 Argyle Street. 248 4814. The eighties pop star will be reading front his autobiography (iarv Naman (Andre Deutsh £14.99).
Dr Raj Persaud Fri 31 ()ct. 8pm. £2. Waterstone‘s. 153—157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. The resident psychologist on This illorning will be talking about and signing copies of his new book Staring Sane: How 72) Make limr Minr/ Work For You (Metro £17.99). Janice Galloway ‘On Writing . . .' Mon 3 Nov. 8pm. £2. Waterstone‘s. 153—157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. The author of The Trick Is '12) Keep Breathing tells