NEW FICTION All Points North
Simon Armitage (Viking £14.99) ****
Regular listeners to Mark Radcliffe's radio show \NIH be familiar with Simon Armitage’s poetry — collections such as ZOO/W hide an emotional punch beneath a surface of simple and often amusineg idiomatic language. But Armitage's talents extend beyond verse - his first prose collection is a gem,
All Points North is assembled from wryly-observed episodes about his life
in the north of England. There are test matches at Headingly, a meeting with his hero John Peel at Radio I and he is even brought onto the set of Gillies Mackinnon’s film, Regeneration, as consultant poet.
All are interspersed with affectionately-told anecdotes about living in an area of Yorkshire regularly invaded by TV cameras filming homespun light drama and geriatric Sit-coms such as Last Of The Summer Wine. On this evidence, Simon Armitage is a real North star. (DL)
The Broken Chariot
Alan Sillitoe (Flamingo £16.99) *ttt
SiIIitoe’s first novel in five years confirms his place as a subtle and discreet dissector of the British psyche. The Broken Chariot traces the hectic path of Herbert Thurgarton-Strang, as he staggers, brawls and carouses his way through mid-century Nottingham. This frustrated and desperate man is driven by the need for freedom, having been abandoned in a boarding school by his colonial parents. It is an episodic adventure, but one which never fails to glance through the outer masks of personality into the motives we hide from ourselves and others.
As ever, Sillitoe’s characterisation is exact and his harmonious prose and sharply-written provincial dialogue bring the story leaping to life. There is no shortage of wit or pathos either and the skill of Sillitoe’s narrative means this book can easily be read in a Single sitting. A real heart-warmer for the cold autumn nights, (CD)
call O|4l 248 48l4.
Sue Townsend at Dillons
Dillons invites you to enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and meet novelist Sue Townsend on Friday |8th September at 6.30pm when she will be reading from and talking about her new book Ghost Children (Arrow £5.99).This deeply moving novel. from the writer of the world famous Adrian Mole diaries. is
based around characters haunted
by past hopes and regrets.
information. or to
reserve your signed copy please
Dillons the Bookstore is at I74-l76 Argyle Street, Glasgow (32 8AH
86 THE lIST 24' Sec 1.998
Face To Face
Alison Brodie (Hodder & Stoughton £16.99) at
FA C: E t: C]
A wudty funny but. a? aha _7, Mun-nah or imm- av” rim" our. f; ‘1
’The perfect pile of fluffy white towels lay undisturbed' Only in a novel by an ex-model about models w0uld this line merit inc|u5ion in the opening paragraph and serve as a standard by which to Judge the whole.
Face To Face tells the story of the self-obsessed Peri Lomax, erstwhile top model but no longer in demand. Unexpectedly chosen as the face of the New Millennium, she is whisked up to barbarian Scotland for a photo- shoot and learns humility and love at the hands of a rough MacTaVish.
This novel is perfect if you are looking for stereotypical characterisation, standard grade writing skills and a dubious plot. The author attempts to add depth by giving Peri a hint of a past but even
this, accessed by use of flashback, is disappOintingly ObVIOUS in its construction. Face To Face fails to dispel the myth that models lack intelligence. Maybe Naomi Campbell didn't make her pOint after all (NA)
MUSIC HISTORY Jazz-Rock Stuart Nicholson (Canongate £12.99) * t ‘k * Everything you ever wanted to know about that most maligned of musical genres, Jazz-rock, and a whole lot more besides. Stuart Nicholson has gone about the task of writing the first major account of the music in his usual zealous, highly-informed fashion, and brings an acute critical Judgement rather than simply a fan's enthuSiasm to the task
The major names are all here, from Miles DaVis to latter-day experimentalists like Bill Laswell and Steve Coleman, and Nicholson gives early pioneers iike Gary Burton and Ian Carr their due as well. He follows the story of jazz-rock from the 'sense of innocent adventure' permeating ats early experiments through to the commercial hIIaCklng or’ the genre as the elevator mUSIC of fusion. Another plus is the space given to artists from both ends of the spectrum, with the Grateful Dead, James Brown and Frank Zappa getting eduai time with the Jazzers. (KMI
CRIME FICTION A Sight For Sore Eyes
Ruth Rendell (Hutchinson £16.99)
* t t
The Elizabethans believed trat from king down to scrofuIOus peasant, exeryone had their place, and th.ngs on-y went wrong when people started defying God's filing system oy wriggling up and down the sooal scale,
Ruth Rendell: painful