Waterstone’s Sauohiehall St
in November 1998
2 O NEWMAN signing
_l_\l_O_\£_ copies of 1'2 PM ’MANNERS’
URI GELLER in argument with JONATHAN MARGOLIS
an evening with
£2/£ I conc. (redeemable against a PRIVATE EYE book)
MILES 2 6 reading from
I NOV BEAUTIFUL W
MORNING £2/£1 conc.
(redeemable against book)
MON WILLIAM DALRYMPLE 3 0 Travel writer talking NOV about 'THE AGE
“7W” OF KALI’ £2/£I conc.
(redeemable against book)
Call 0141 332 9105
153-7 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow
116 THE “ST I9 Nov .3 Dec I998
Check out The List every fortnight
See page 106
CONTEMPORARY FICTION Polly
Freya North (Heinemann £10) ****
The story behind Freya North’s original publishing deal is possibly more interesting than her novels themselves. Finding a publisher was proving to be difficult for the young author, so North took it upon herself to make up her own reViews. An eye-watering bidding war ensued and a series of bestsellers was born.
North’s third novel, PO/ly, centres around a 27-year-old English teacher who travels to Vermont as an exchange. She leaves behind her comfortable flat, boyfriend and cat for a year. Predictably, so far away from her ’real life’, she falls for athletic Chip and they have lots of rampant and graphically-described sex. Yet more obvrously, her boyfriend has been dOing the same and Just how WIll it all work out?
Love, sex, heartbreak and pretty scenery Wlll always make for a great bedtime read. Pol/y is a chick flick on paper. (SB)
Altar Ego Kathy Lette (Picador £12.99) at it * *
More bitchy than Joan C’JllIIIS on a bad face day, Kathy Lette looks no closer to relingtiishing her title as the lippy cow of modern fiction With her latest novel A/tar Ego
Becky Steele is a sassy, sarcastic twenty—sornething With a sex-drive that would shame Viagra and a mouth to match. All trussed up to be wed to her human rights lawyer boyfriend Julian, Becky instead iilts him a grenade's throw away from the altar and embarks on a spectacularly raunchy affair With a horny young rap star.
It's typical Lette territory, but turning the clock back on recent work and making Becky young and childless appears to be the Aussie author's excuse for going further below the belt than ever before Literally. Not that we're complaining. lette's latest volume of Vixen-like Wit and sarcasm Will have you barricading yourself in the bathroom for three-hour bubble baths iust to reach the end. And that's JUSI the blokes (EC)
SHORT STORY COLLECTION Elementals
AS. Byatt (Chatto & Windus E12) ****
Eight years on from Winning the Booker With Possession, AS. Byatt has produced a delightful collection of stories With an emotional impact beyond its scale.
These tales - firmly in the Magical Realism genre, and each seemineg inspired by an artistic: work ~ are intelligent treatments of basic elements. Byatt’s pages are filled With colour, sensation and paSSion, hitting home at both head and heart.
In one tale, an English painter emigrates to France and finds artistic fulfilment when a mythical creature takes up residence in his swrmming pool. In another, a rich woman suffers psychological trauma in a shopping mall. And in ’Cold’, the most perfectly realised example of Byatt’s Vision, an ice princess finds love and near-death in a desert land.
No matter how fabulous the SUbJGCI or magical the setting, Byatt is constantly dealing in the knowable region of the human heart. This superbly-crafted set proves her a Goddess of small things. (PR)
Frock Rock: Women Performing Popular Music
Mavis Bayton (OUP £18.99) at a: *
Cutting through the psychobabble, Frock Rock contains revealing interViews With women generally sidelined by the music press. Investigating the dearth of women rock mUSICIdnS, sociology tutor MaVis Bayton highlights the punk watershed and artists such as Patti Smith. Predictably blaming a male-dominated industry for snail-paced evolution, she still manages to bypass feminist ranting and advocates ways of detonating power struggles.
One guitarist beinoans endless Deborah Harry comparisons, but the lack of role models inewtably means fewer reference pomts for Journalists. Bayton also utilises anecdotal eVIdence to make her pomts >7 unsuccessful attempts to get a photograph from
at t t t t Outstanding
t a: t it Recommended * r * Worth a try
* it 50-50