Underworld Jimmy Boyle (Serpent's Tail £8.99)

Like its creator Jimmy Boyle, Hero Of The Underworld already has a reputation that goes before it. Weeks before the debut novel by Scotland's most reformed criminal was even due to hit the shelves, it was already the subject of much media debate.

The controversy centres around the book’s main character Hero, a former mental hospital patient who forms a vigilante group to fight back against the society that has disowned him. Comparisons with Boyle's own life are inevitable with Hero being introduced to the reader while locked up in prison-like conditions not unlike those described in his famous autobiographies Sense Of Freedom and Pain Of Confinement. But the author is quick to deny the book is another guided tour of his past.

'I think Hero Of The Underworld is a very original voice, a unique voice saying something important about today’s society,’ says the 54-year-old writer, sculptor and outreach worker.

'I feel it's a book about the 905.‘ Even the Underworld of the title is a red herring. It is not the Hollywood underworld of horses’ heads in beds, but a term Boyle has assigned to the flotsam and jetsam of 905 Britain the poor, the unemployed, the drug-abusers and the

mentally ill.

Like most closet novelists, it's a book he says has been in him for some time. But the impetus to write it came with the fall-out from the Thatcher years that he witnessed at Gateway Exchange Trust, the Edinburgh- based centre for young people at risk, set up on his

release from prison in 1982.

'These people were coming in and we were thinking, "Imagine sending somebody out in this state,"' he recalls. ’And these weren’t people who committed violence against anybody, they were people who were basically 80,32"- .

Jimmy Boyle: man of litters

More black comedic fantasy than gritty reality, it takes an absurdist funfair ride round the dregs of humanity. Armed with uncompromising imagery and strong language, Boyle delights in transforming crude actions by gross people into acts of heroism. Little wonder film

companies are falling over each other for the rights to a


movie that could make Trainspotting look like Mary

While it is tempting to lump Boyle in with the rest of the Caledonian canon, he has no wish to follow in the keyboard strokes of Kelman, Welsh and co. 'I don't set

out to be a Scottish writer, I’m an internationalist. I don't

that.’ (May Tyler)

want to be pigeon-holed. My whole life's been about

Ir’emO‘ lireblurb/3501.0 s {)imf'wei: or? [WI-'1 let) [Hwy he .i_.'),'):’=(ii..'i(: .3? Howie’s, (rah/ms; Int" 9 fan"), /.').'.“,

topping themselves. A lot of them were coming out and ...2i-c-/s:one’s, 7.28 M urea Street, lawful/9&2, fix. 7 f lei),

committing suicide or attempting to.’

/.')/'.‘, 1.203.“. l'im, li.’ mini/(m 'li’liiffit‘fx01%}li."'ll(}.)()lfii3


The Talk Of The Town Aida! O'llaiilon (Sceptre £6.99)

If fixere a (i"‘,'()'l(‘ l)i(\*"(] ..i) (a l)¢i()(‘fl)(i(r. (um ()i Aiiial ()llmww".

(li‘l);ll "().(‘ l()()r. m; for .i l)(""‘2(‘(l

.("‘)l()'l ()l :l‘i()..f,ixl.‘» Im'w Hie l)l<i"l\ "(i ()i l<il"(’.' l)<>;.r;.ei, .i raisin, x..'i)r:se

(l..(l..) '\\

<les< 'ii)e(i (‘1‘) l)(‘(()'ii m;

(we imz'tt, (i (linunfei s '.i(:(i:<’.e<l to Mimei'fi,’ Dim". e:-::)<‘-('. to He Jeremie l'orii \,~..( ." e'wnt (mu ()m e vim mine Hut l'it‘ ixmi (103."

l'“e Taxi) i‘.i'i.i’.<)", Ill l/ie la/k ()f lllz‘ /().'.’l) l)(lill(x Sniliv mid time (i iii“; 0‘ 1m (lifiilli‘i‘fl immeani Kei", tei lfié‘ S< tili‘,

.'“()lY‘(' ‘.<).'. r‘. ()i

‘)¢i"1(")l()"/ |.". (li‘le'i-“t amp. H'illl'l‘) to '11‘, (.igtleuiw. m! .i ‘.(‘(‘i.(*l7(l ()l

(l(‘l)(l1l(ll(”'y’ ‘.'.‘Iii W. (>!:i 'imtex, happy

to ieaze DO" r‘ii f'ii“ 'iiet'oiioi‘tai‘

"‘.i\."\e"i 0‘ Dim ii, "'3 (leadae'wl 10:) and l'<i"((""><<‘:, 1" ‘.’.l‘.().'" 'ie :3 "(1.103: i)"()l) ems l()l "er :M'I, ale 3

:)e( (>i“:"\.(; (:eiai lied l'().'l‘ li."‘. (""i()'..()ll(i l, ‘.'.."7e (leuelopimi ‘ee‘:."(ix for ii a next T" (“‘0 dee.’ ‘Bal 9 ()'Rei?i\,'

iii 3 x exxeiit (il‘, 8( win". xiii'x, '."<>.;(;", (mi (l“»(()‘.(‘l film! iie (<>..f(l ewe been .i ;)e"e<I ‘.( lmlm \.'.e'e .°. "()f ‘0! l‘.;i:‘ f.i"'r‘.<; l.'l {fie ‘.'..'()"(;

(l()‘,'.(l, 0’ <2". <l‘sl)|.'l.'l(; Sl)()'.\lll<l’l ‘.'.("(‘

i! [101 f(>7 (il‘. ii"‘()"°...imte mi) semi)": Nnu‘. (ll “e ins me li's <Hi<iit lll.ll'.‘, ."‘I(“l“().'!(“) ()7' (:edii (lad, r“ (1“! inane been .i"<i w“: (in r11; '.() be Yum "e.e.' tau” far/rel leil :eiieatx iii the wire (Miami


-t .e m we 3...“. ‘.f"(l "‘:().'.ll Ti) t“. x

(’(‘l)'(“>‘>3"(l Mli". 7. '8 1'”. (mew (i |()‘.eii 0W3 (law (if ‘\.<>..' Der:

)illdll l)()ii.i3(ix<>"

First writes

Putting debut authors under the microscope. This issue: Michel Houellebecq

Who he? l.ll( "e ll<);.e ei)e((i s (a ~10- year-o (1 :)()et, essa‘,‘.st (3"(1' ( .; (ma? (()'l‘.".‘("ii<il()l ‘.'."() (()-‘()..i‘(ie(i tl‘e '2“..e"t (a "T(i()(‘:/ i‘e l’e/perirz'm i/laxre He "(is ."Sl)l'(‘(l (5 rec. (ier‘wat 0" of {,(xgm; MW '1 " few (1 saf‘m ten 1)“, tie "‘(xi‘ueto'i (age Aw: '.'."() S"‘()r\(‘ 200

His debut it's ((a'eu ./".’.'7.3.’:‘=:':’:I <‘:."(l te is '."e (1(‘{)"(‘S‘\"(l taie ()f' .2" ..l"‘<‘:"‘(‘(l 30- ‘.ear-(m (<>"‘:)~..ter' ()'()(}"(i"‘."‘.(" 1':

‘i'. e ..S'. ‘0" ‘e 0" i<)'.e l)..°. :) e'iZy ‘0' 0.31" "(i He 3 e'“. ()..S 0‘ t"e ‘e of (a (0.”. (m: (:e< (:es twat meat" 3 s i)" (ion. l"e l"e"< " (aimei: ti‘v» ..:) 40,000 (0:) es i)e "(; so (i (m: (a

0‘ t"e "one me "Q :) (ween Basically Blast .2 18.5 (18:)(i'(i(;"

(lttcfl \ 0" \( 'e'”. f'< :>"<)<;'ess (m: ‘."e

e‘°e(‘. NW» "(30‘ z)" s<>< (“3, (are t"e ma l’. .a<’. (is (a .'.<‘:°.e.'s*e(: ‘0' u: "e.‘. te".‘:'...'e O' "a. (we: new 0" 0" live ()i.'.'s'(lz=r

3.62.0 ()4 l'("‘( " i).a..:)e's First line test ‘i' (2.2,

' . °.(‘(l t() (i llrilf', (i.

"(i nuns (a (O e.a<;..e 770'“ .<>'\ 3 "(use l"e'e '.'.e'e I" 't'l.-<)(:<l 0"

:>e‘.'.'.<>e" 1e (2'1: ‘(>"., »\’. (a (e'. ' "‘()".‘("‘~ \()"( s .00 0'0

Cast l"e (ie'f‘ e<i ((>"‘:)..fe' :)'<)(;".a""“e' "(2"(2101‘.'."(>:)'e‘e'5"s (" {)3 to {)e ()'\ " s s"<>.. (:e', Raw’uae lSS("'(i"(}, " s "‘(izp'uai) (}'()'.(‘S(i..(’ (() '(‘<i(l..(‘ ‘.'."()se '1‘: e(: (Etiennts to (aft'aif '.'.()"‘e" are .a (()"\‘,(‘:"°. "1.310."- 10 <)..' "‘e'o, Jew)" (:_.e, '."e "(1".310'8 ex- <>‘.e' .'."<>xe'.' 0510.2 :)s.<"<>(‘:"<‘:‘,s‘.

Best ll \ (:"d ,3 \ {)" "(D‘.'. 30.. (iexf'n‘. "(i 2m":)e1<;<"(>(>se,i)..', (5"(: net (i new (in .e'eu

What's next? ll x se(<)":: "0.0 [vs Pdfflflm‘fil'i"'l:1,'?f<2r':‘8 was ".."‘:)e' we " l".‘:"<e, sons-wee. '.()()("(‘:1)(‘ 3):)... r‘. .00" I‘ ‘.<)_. (.2" {)e :)<:'."e'e(:

Br Dow: (:50"

n."()t:'.(" () :)\l:) 3/?!

l.) .2:

=<." r), S<‘~.'.'>:‘-"."\ 8 99

. \J.’ 1' new“ w t. {Sal & ;J )1“ hegrpz‘lP‘OR H309

.v 'zw THE LIST 97