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Alan Warner


These Demented Lands

Alan Warner (Vintage €5.99)

‘k t i ‘1' Ar

The hyped anticipation surrounding the seguel to Morvern Cal/ar was well worth the overkill, These Demented Lands being an altogether superior beast Morvern's perpetual Journey sees her fleeing the mainland, eventual arriVing at remote island hotel, the Drome, which caters espeCialIy for honeymooners. There she encounters the island’s bizarre inhabitants and gears up for the rave of the century (SM)

Hunting Down The

Universe Michael Hawkins (Abacus £7.99) ‘k‘k 1'

If life beyond your lounge seems scary, avoid this Hawkins, an employee of Edinburgh's Royal Observatory, began studying quasars, the universe's brightest ODJOCIS, 20 years ago His investigations led him to discover that 99% of the universe consists of primordial black holes Here, he explains his study and extrapolates the political and philosophical consequences from his find (SM)

The Oatmeal Ark

Rory Maclean (Flamingo £7.99)

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A curious airialgamation of family saga and travelogue, Maclean‘s second book has unique style and

atmosphere Adopting an entwined narration, the ghost of Rev Hector Gillean recalls his turn-of-the- nineteenth-century sea Journey from the Hebrides to Canada, and his ensuing experiences in this new land Two hundred years later, his great- grandson retraces Gillean's voyage (SM)


Carole Morin (Indigo £6.99) t it t Outrageously irreverent and non-PC, Lampshades dares to articulate those naughty thoughts which, jUSl sometimes, pollute the purest of minds Sixteen-year-old Sophira detests her irresponSible mother but, when mother swans off to India, as time for Sophira to go off the rails, Intercut wrth memories of her late, fasost grandfather and paedophile uncle, this is stuffed with despicable characters and an underlying Wit (SM)

Flesh Guitar

Geoff Nicholson (Gollancz £9.99) ‘k *

Jenny Slade's stOry starts in the Havoc Bar and Grill, in an unspecified future, With an anarchic edge. A guitarist With a difference and a very different guitar, her performance in this hick Joint comes at the end of a rock 'n' roll rollercoaster of rivalry and rows Noticeably lacking in depth and breadth, this is nonetheless quite addlCllVQ. (SM)


Brian Donaldson, Alastair Mabbot, Dierdre Malloy, Susan Mackenzre, Jonathan Trew.




An Evening With George Gallacher, James Kelman, Tom Leonard And Christine Primrose Sat 21 Feb. 8pm. £8 (£4). Tron Theatre. 63 'I‘rongate. 552 4267. An evening of prose. poetry and song from four of Scotland's leading artists.

The Sunday Rhymes: Spoken Word Sun 22 Feb. 3—5pm. l-‘ree. Upstairs at Brel. 39 Ashton Lane. 342 4966. Viv Gee hosts this popular afternoon poetry event with special guests to he announced. flelen Arthur Wed 25 Feb. 7pm. John Smith's. 57 St Vincent Street. 22l 7472. Helen Arthur hosts a Scotch Whisky Tasting. introducing The Single Mull Whisky Coiiipuinon (Apple Press £ l 5).

42-44 Cockburn Street,

Edinburgh EHI Tel: OI3I-

Open Tuesday to Saturday

100 THE LIST )0 leb 8 Mar I998

IPB 226 6636

IO till 6

FICTION American Skin

Don De Grazia (Jonathan Cape £9.99) 1hr

In the mid-80$, seventeen-yearcold Alex Verdi sees his parents arrested for possession with intent to supply. Realising he too is ‘sought for questioning', Alex leaves his rural hometown for Chicago, eventually falling in with the multi-racial group of skinhead teens who congregate around a

punk nightclub, the Gorgon.

Thus begins De Grazia's tale, a would-be American odyssey which soon degenerates into a wearing cocktail of youth-cult snapshots, ‘scrapes' and tortuous plot construction of the soap-opera dynamic.

The frustrating thing about American Skin is that were it to be halved, a nice little book could emerge; one that speaks about the second-hand rags assumed and discarded, the blind alleys stumbled upon in search of identity. As it is, Alex's observations serve often to tell us more about De Grazia, his tastes and preferences, than we really need to know.

In his boots and gang, Alex is a pale - one assumes conscious - echo of Burgess's more famous teen. De Grazia quotes Kerouac at the outset. Neither writer, I would venture, ever had recourse to such lazy stock descriptions as 'her shapely rump' or ’her willowy body'.

Now teaching fiction at Columbia College, De Grazia wrote this book as his thesis. One can only assume he had a specific word count to satisfy. ’Wouid you permit me to say the youthful skinhead was a lower-class inner-city white manifestation of the young-warrior archetype in the human psyche?‘ Alex /De Grazia asks us one point. Well, God, no. Of course

not. (Damien Love)

Sir Magnus Magnusson Thu 26 I-‘eh. 6pm. John Smiths. Glasgow University. The John McIntyre Building. University Avenue. 339 I463. Sir Magnus Magnusson launches a major new series of (Ir/rm] xlI't'lim'n/riytt‘u/ (Inn/(iv -- 'I'rui'e/ (inn/es~ 'Iii 'I'lie ll’orlil's .‘lllt'ft'lll Sires. edited by Barry Cunliffe. Guests include Amanda Claridge. Roger Collins and Anna and Graham Ritchie.

Dr Sandra Cabot Mon 2 Mar. 7pm. £2. Waterstone's. l53-~l57 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9l()5. Australia's best-known female physician talks about and answers questions on her new book T/It' Liver Cleansing Die! (Deep Books £l().99). Bob Hartman Tue 3 Mar. 2pm. Dillons. l74 Argyle Street. Glasgow, ()l4l 24S 4Xl4. See Kids listings.

Reginald Hill Tue 3 Mar. 7pm. £2. Waterstone‘s. I53 - l57 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9l()5. The Diamond Dagger- winning author and creator of the books on which the popular TV series Dir/rte! :lni/ I’uiene is based. reads and signs copies of his latest novel ()n lieu/uh Here/n (llarperCollins £16.99).

An Evening With Garrison Keillor Wed 4 Mar. 7.30pm. £5. Mitchell Theatre. Granville Street. Tickets froin Waterstone's. l53- I57 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9l()5. Garrison Keillor reads from his latest novel ll’nheeun lim- (l-‘aber £16.99). along with a medley of American art songs. and answers questions about America and its people. William Boyd Thu 5 Mar. 7pm. £2 (redeemable against book). Waterstone‘s. l53~»l57 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9l()5. Boyd reads and signs copies of his seventh novel and first for five years. Armin/[Ho (Hamilton £16.99).


The Shore Poets Sun 22 Feb. Spin. £ l. l-ruitmarket Gallery. 45 Market Street. 225 2383. An evening of poetry readings and live music.

None Of The Above Sun 32 lit-Ii.

8.30pm. £6 (£4). The Bongo Club. l4 New Street. 556 5204. The Edinburgh- based illustrator and writer llarry llorse. reads from his latest book The lust (iii/i1 Diggers (Puffin £3.99). with music froin Mr Mel“alls' Chamber. Dave Brady and Bag 0' Cats.

Geoff Nicholson Wed 25 l‘eb. 7pm. Waterstone's. l3— l4 Princes Street. 556 3034. The critically acclaimed American novelist chats about his latest book Hex/i (Iiiirur (Gollancl. £9.99).

Pamela Wilkie and Anna Crowe wed 25 Feb. 7.30pm. Netherbow Arts Centre. 43—45 High Street. 5569579. Poetry readings bv these prize-winning poets. Nigel Williams Thu 26 Feb. 7pm. Waterstone‘s. I28 Princes Street. 226 2666. The author of The ii’i/nliletlon l’uiwner and 'I'ltev (‘tune I’rmn Sll’l‘). reads froin his latest book Sin/king l-‘iunu (Granta £5.99).

Quintin Jardine Mon 2 Mar. 6.30pm. James Thin. 59 George Street. 225 4495. Jardine launches his new book Skinner Ti (i/imls (Headline £ I699) and reads from his paperback .4 (ii/fin For 'I‘im (Headline £5.99).

Love Your Liver And Live Longer Tue 3 Mar. 7pm. Waterstone's. l3-l4 Princes Street. 556 3034. Australia‘s best-known female physician Dr Sandra Cabot. talks about and answers questions on her new book The Liver Cleansing Diet (Deep Books £10.99).

Reginald Hill Wed 4 Mar. 7pm. Waterstone's. I34 l4 Princes Street. 556 3034.

The Diamond Dagger-winning author and creator of the books on which the popular TV series Dulriel ."Iit/ .“(Mt'm’ is based. reads and signs copies of his latest novel ()n lieu/uh Here/i! ( llarpeif‘ollins £16.99).

Rory Maclean Thu 5 Mar. 7pm. Walerstone‘s, I23 Princes Street. 226 2666. Maclean reads from his travel/history book The ()ulineul xirk (llarperCollins £7.99).