V course, plot clIches abdund the



Star Struck

Val McDermio' (HarperCoIllns £16.99)

It would be a on. of an Insult to call

this, the Sodh Of lvlCDermld'S Kate Brannlgan novels, ‘genre detectIve

fictIOn', so astute Is the observatIon and entertaInIng the writ:ng_ Of

Manchester-based prIvate Investigator has been hIred by a local TV soap

star as a bodyguard, after the celeb starts gettIng death threats. Not that

Our Kate would normally do such thIngs, but It beIng Winter vnth the bills

loomlng and work short, she ,Iust has to take the Job

What takes iviCDEled those extra rungs up the lIterary ladder Is her abIlIty to set her n0vels so assuredly In the present. She allows the technology

to be cuttIng edge, without letting It

eIther get In the way or dIctate the

plot. And, belIevably, BrannIgan Is

never knowledgeable about every

aspect of modern lIfe —she JUSI always 3 knows someone who Is. (TO)

NEW FICTION Julian Barnes

England, England (Jonathan Cape i :523' if? 'lilj‘

Gwen the current brou'na'na over the soveregnty and IdentIty of the

c0nstItuent parts of the UnIted

KIngdom, Eng/and, Eng/and arrIves at a poIgnant time Set In a not-too-dIstant future, It follows the fortunes of SIr lack PItman, a self-made mIllIonaIre

I who d€Cld€S to reCreate England as an

upmarket theme park on the Isle Of

i WIght. As hIs scheme succeeds and the

park takes on more and more of the attrIbutes of an Independent nation state, the real England declInes. Barnes explores the Ideas of natIonaiIty and people's perception of

88 THE LIST 10—th Sep ‘998

hIstory WIth hIs customary dry wt and lIvely erudItIOn H'Is c0ncluslon. that a natIOnal Identity cOnsIsts of nothing more than what you tell peoole It :s hardly cOmes as any great reveEatIOn, but thIs Is One of those books where the Journey Is mOre entertaInIng than the destInatIon. (IT)


I A Song Of Stone

Iain Banks (Abacus £6.99) Truth, betrayal and loyalty. Just three of the My matters In Banks' nInth novel

I (stteen If you count hIs output as 'lvl').

War has ended but rebel warrIors run amok, capturIng the ov/ners of a castle and takIng them home for games of

deceIt and death. Complex and

compellIng, thIs as further evIdence that the FIfer rema'ns the country's leadIng flIer of the ImagInat'on “BOI


Sean Hughes (Touchstone £6.99)

at Viv

'What are you lookIng at, you cunt?’ Not the dlarles of Irvme Welsh, but the first |Ine of the debut nOvel by One Sean Hughes. Ebrmerly of the par'sh of cuddly lrIsh blokes and now wrtteng of alIenatIon, sex, VlOlEf‘Ce and vroler‘t'y alIenated sex. John Palmer's past 's EaId bare to all and Sundry when A'an 'Redser' Bulger re-enters hIs *Ife and heaven and hell break loose And yes, Mozza Is In there. (BO)

REVIEWERS THIS ISSUE NIcky Agate, Susanna BeaumOnt,

Thom DIden, BrIan Donaldson, Clark

Dunn, Dawn Lindsey, Hannah McGIII, Kenny MathIeson, Peter Ross, Jonathan Trew.


5 etc s. to s: unmissable ‘4: :5: ‘6’ 00d ,., 3.: Wort a shot

Below average You’ve been warned

Iain Banks: running amok



munsolw 10 '


Agnes Owens John Smith. Byres Road. 334 2769. The Scottish author reads from her new book For The Love Of Willie (Bloomsbury £12.99).

Sebastian Faulks Waterstone's. 153—157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. 7pm. £2

1 ). The author of Bin/song talks about his latest book Charlotte Gray (Hutchinson £16.99).


Sebastian Faulks James Thin. 53—59 South Bridge. 556 6743. 1pm. See Thu IO.


Janice Galloway, Bernard MacLaverty, Kathryn Heyman and Ronnie Kerr Waterstone's. 153—157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. 7.30pm. The world premiere of a selection of specially commissioned pieces of new music for string quartet. written by Scottish Composer Malcolm Lindsay and performed by the Saltire Quartet. The four pieces are inspired by the works of these authors.

First Birthday Party Waterstone's. 153—157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. 8am— 10pm. To celebrate the branch‘s first birthday. there will be 10“? discount on everything. children‘s competitions and complimentary bubbly.


Iain Banks \k'aterstone‘s. I28 Princes Street. 226 2666. 7pm. Banks reads from his new fiction novel .4 Song Of Stone (Abacus £6.99). See review.



Geoff Dutton \Vaterstone's. 153—157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. 7pm. The author talks about and signs copies of The Complete Doetor Series (Baton Wicks £9.99).

Reading Group Waterstone's. 153—l57 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. 7.30pm. For more details contact Tessa Bowler on 332 9105. This week the group compare Mot-tern Col/(tr by Alan Warner and (il'rlt‘t’ Notes by Bernard Macl.averty.

Antiques Road Show Joint Smith. 57 St Vincent Street. 221 7472. 6.30pm. £3

(£2 1. Judith Miller. author of .'III'//er'\ Antiques [5m \'( lopet/I‘n (Mitchell Beatley £40). isjoined by experts from Phillips fora presentation. plus the chance to have your portable antiques valued.

WEDNESDAY 16 1 Edinburgh

Geoff Dutton Waterstone's. 13—14 Princes Street. 556 3034. 7pm. See Tue



Christopher Trotter \vaterstmie's. 153--l57 Sauchiehall Street. 3329105. 6pm. A cookery demonstration with this local chero launch the publication of Scottish ('oo/t‘eI’V Boo/c (l.omond £ 10).


Richard Overy Waterstone's. George Street. 225 3436. 7pm. The Professor of Modern History at King's College. London talks about his latest book Russia '3‘ War (Penguin £20).



Richard E. Grant Glasgow Film Theatre. 12 Rose Street. 332 8128. 6.30pm. £4 (£3). The star of the classic film Hit/nun! ck /. reads and signs copies of his latest book [iv Des/en (Picador £16.99).

Sue Townsend

_ Sue Townsend Dillons, 174 Argyle

Street. 248 4814. 6.30pm. The author of the popular Adrian Mole books. reads from and signs copies of her latest novel (i/ioxt Children (Arrow £5.99).


Richard Branson John Smith. 57 St Vincent Street. 221 7472. 5pm. Britain's most famous enterpreneur signs copies of his autobiography Losing My Virginity (Vir in Publishing £20).

Mic ael Wood John Smith. 57 St Vincent Street. 221 7472. 7pm. The writer and historian gives an illustrated talk on his latest book and BBC TVseries In The Footsteps Of'A/exanr/er The Great (BBC £17.99).


Alan Clark Waterstone‘s. 128 Princes Street. 226 2666. 7pm. The former Minister of Trade ( 1986-89) and Minister of State. MOD (1989—92) talks about his new book The Tories: C'onservnni'es .4an The Nation State [922—97 (Orion £20).

' TUESDAY 22 ;


Maeve Binchy Royal Concert Hall. 2 Sauchiehall Street. 287 5511. 8pm. £4 (£3). One of the biggest selling and best loved authors launches her sixth novel 'litro 's Rour/ (Orion £16.99).


Maeve Binchy James Thin. The Gyle Shopping Centre. 35 Gyle Avenue. South Gyle Broadway. 539 7757. I-2pm. See Tue 22.

Michael Wood James Thin. George Street. 225 4495. 7pm. The writer and historian gives an illustrated talk on his latest book and BBC TVseries In The Footsteps ()f Alexander The Great (BBC £ 17.99).



Joe Simpson Waterstone‘s. 153—157 Sauchiehall Street. 3329105. 7pm. £2 (£1 ). The author of the mountaineering classic ’Iorre/Iine The Void talks about his latest book Dork Shut/outs Fri/line (Vintage £7.99).


Ben Elton The Queen's Hall. Clerk Street. 667 7776. 7pm. £3 (£1.50). Tickets from all Edinburgh branches of \‘v'aterstone‘s. The comedian with the hyperactive delivery launches his new novel Blast From The Past (Transworld £15.99).



Ben Elton Royal Concert Hall. 2 Sauchiehall Street. 287 5511. 8pm. £4 (£3). See Wed 23.


Ian Kershaw Waterstone's. 13-14 Princes Street. 556 3034. 7pm. One of the world's leading authorities on Hitler talks about his new book Hit/er: [88949363 Huhriv (Penguin £20).