new titles


Pamela Norris (Picador £20) a 2: r

Eve, as depicted during her entanglement With the serpent in Genesis, is the archetype for representations of women in Western literature according to Norris. From this brief part of the Hebrew creation myth spring three millennia of female characters, starting With those in the Old Testament Itself, through Ancient Greek representations of the likes of Pandora and Psyche to Mary Magdalene and on through early Christian times right up to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

Scholarly and involved though this tome may be, Norris has enough style to carry her reader With her While putting the various Rabbinical and Christian commentaries on soc iety and its link With Eve, the Serpent and Adam under scrutiny, she is particularly cutting towards the more misogynistic commentators It may not be a rip- roaring read, but The Story Of Eve \VIH entertain and enlighten those Interested in the relationship between a culture and its written records (TD)

GOTHIC HORROR King Rat China Mieville (Macmillan £9.99)

This is a promising debut novel from the 25-year-old MieVille that doesn't


A story of complete unpredictability involving you, some good friends and a pair of dice. Throw the dice to decide where to drink your bottles of

Rolling Rock beer.

116 THE “ST ‘3 19 Nov 1998

qune match its potential. Gothic horror set in the sewers and shadows of a grimy London, King Rat tells the tale of Saul who finds himself brutally plucked from everyday life and cast into a demi-monde. This stark underworld is populated by creatures that are half- man, half-beast and who live in the unseen space between the animal and human kingdoms.

Drawrng its inspiration from the graphic novel, King Rat has much in common With that genre descriptions are colourful, atmosphere is yiVid and the concept displays a ric h imagination. Unfortunately, it's also as thinly plotted as many graphic novels, With the good-versus-bad theme stretched to breaking point it's still enjoyable but a more in-dept'n narrative would make for a more satisfying read. (JTi

BOOKER WINNER Amsterdam Ian McEwan (Jonathan Cape £14.99)

*5! ‘fi’ 'fr

grléfi MCEWAN

"l .. I .1 ~’-' mm") n . "4. ,I j /l,,'( '

, ,‘ mgr/[u 4. . . 1.1V] ..f,l'f\_-.J 5‘ vwrlr,“yl!_*3 1.,

Right author, wrong book7 Words are being uttered from behind some bookshelves that Mc Ewan’s Amsterdam is as lightweight as a baby's breath The author who served up tough tomes like A Child In Time has finally been rewarded for a soft- centred novella

Amsterdam is engaging in as far as McEwan has the knack of ensnaring the reader in moral dilemmas and, much like being caught on barbed Wire, it is hard to disentangle Here McEwan offers up two middle-aged old friends, brought together by the passing of an old lover, Molly Lane And, as is the way With death, old skeletons start to tumble out of the c upboard.

Pertinent to our 'politician-on- CIapham-Common’ times, a further lover of Lane's a right-vying Foreign Secretary enters the fray to find his private life made public Real-life morality perhaps, but Amsterdam does not quite deliver the punch. (SBI


The Breaker

Minette Walters (Macmillan £16.99) a r:

The broken body of Kate Sumner is discovered washed up on a deserted shore on the south coast of England,


The Nation's Favourite: The True Adventures Of

Radio 1

Simon Garfield (Faber And Faber £9.99) *tttt

Remember Gary's 'Bit In The Middle'? ‘Our Tune' with Simon Bates? Snooker on the radio with the Hairy Cornflake DLT? Most of us do our best to forget Radio 1's naffest years, but in Simon Garfield's incredible chronicle, the full horror of those cheesy DJs and the events that followed their reign is writ as large as Chris Evans's ego.

With a brassneck that is hard to believe, Garfield sweet-talked his way into spending a year at Radio 1 where he gained unprecedented access not only to 01$ past and present, but management pow- wows, research briefings and playlist conferences.

By becoming everyone bar the cleaner's confidante, Garfield gathered a picture that simply could not be invented of the station that has spent the last five years in Titanic mode. Through a series of extraordinarily candid



THE TRUE ADVENTURES or iiiiiiiii i

interviews, with only occasional interjections from Garfield, we relive all from Dave Lee Travis‘s famous on-air departure to the arrival of the station’s short-lived saviour, Chris Evans.

It comes as no surprise to see the Ginger One play the starring role. But in this case it's the supporting cast who really run the show. Fans of John Peel will chuckle as he describes waiting in the Radio 1 car park to beat up Simon Bates, while enemies of DLT will smirk at the revelation that the Hairy Cornflake was a DJ who owned not one record.

Forget all your TV docu-soaps. Simon Garfield’s fly-on-the-wall book is _

the Tolstoy of its kind. (Ellie Carr)

Hours later, her tliree-ycnir-old daughter is found wandering the streets twenty miles away, apparently abandoned Why was Kate murdered and her daughter allowed to live7 Why did she board a boat when she had a terror of drowning at sea7

Suspicion centres initially on a young actor with a penchant for pornography, then shifts towards Kate's inadequate husband The ensuing investigation suggests everything from a paedophile ring to smuggling illegal immigrants, and Walters has gone to great lengths to establish a degree of authentic ity 'signed' witness statements and even a map and photographs are included for our benefit

The plot twists and turns, but unfortunately the characters are not interesting, likeable or nasty enough to make you remotely care about what happens to any of them and, in the end, it's all rather dull iAS)

PAPERBACK CRIME Always Outnumbered,

Always Outgunned Walter Mosley (Serpent’s Tail £5.99)

The creator of SOs private eye Easy Rawlins comes bang up to date \Vllll this collection of stories featuring ageing ex-con Socrates Fortlow, a half- decent man trying to stay out of trouble on the streets of Watts The downbeat adventures vary in tone but

never in quality, inxith Mosley egually gripping whether describing a Vigilante action or the soul-destroying, Herculean task of getting and keeping a dismal minimum i.'.age IOl)

Throughout, Socrates ruininates persuasively on what it means to be a black man in a ‘.‘.llll(‘ man's \'.'()Il(f, leaving the reader in no doubt that this life is far from Easy KRFi


The Revenge Of Mimi Quinn

Shirley Conran (Macmillan £16.99)

Sometimes you IUSI need easily digestible fiction by the yard and this is where Shirley Conran's novels in -nto the grand scheme of things That 's not to suggest that this hefty tome .s undeserving of your full attent'o" Conran's story of l\.l|ll‘.l Qunn, a young girl taking her first steps towards Music Hall fame at the turn of the century, is eminently readable ‘or a number of reasons She has a f"‘e eye for historical setting, often (()"‘.l)ifl!l‘(} her IWisted, horr:bly comneiling plot With a sense of place Sllllildl in density

Continued over page


Unrnissable Very good

Worth a shot

" *1 Below average You've been warned