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‘ o . . ‘ . . C EAST END
A Prooession of Love (Little, Brown £16.99)
EAST END JAMES SPENCE
Oot Thunder (Being £3.50)
Launch Evening ASSEMBLY ROOMS SALMAN RUSHDIE
The Ground Beneath Her Feet (Cape £18.00)
CITY CAFE £1 POP QUIZ (Scottish)
QUEENS HALL £4/22
East of the Mountains (Bloomsbury £16.99)
83 Gcor we; Street, Edinburgh tel: (113 225 3436
West 16nd,; 128 Princes Street, bdinburgh tel: 0131 226 2666
East End, 118-14 Princes Street, Edinburgh tel: 0131 $56 3034/5
98 THE lIST 13—27 May 1999
change, they break.’ (Clark Dunn)
TRAGl-COMIC FICTION White City Blue Tim Lott (Viking £9.99) rim
wunEcnv BLUE/TIM Lori
'A roman/At or run; FRlENDSHlP so lNTENSE. so PASSIONATE. sn PERSONAL THAT l DON'T mink ii HAS BEEN BETTERED' MARGARET FURSTER
There seems to be an abundance of tragi-comic coming-of-age (30, usually) novels doing the rounds at the moment. Quite what lies behind this drive to dissect the psyche of young urbanites is a mystery, and many of the revelations which are plucked from fictional lives and presented to the reader are mundane in the extreme.
Lott, who has already flexed his inner dialogue muscle with the autobiographical The Scent Of Dried Roses. manages to depart from the pedestrianism of the genre. The premise of the book is fairly simple - lad- about-town Frank reassesses life and friendships as he prepares to get married. Yet Lott's skill in observing the tensile boundaries of male and female relationships creates a touching atmosphere of regret, longing and bewilderment.
Frank is a fully-drawn protagonist, brimming with mischief, sensibility and compassion, and the characters in his circle of friends are also skilfully fleshed out, each with their own points of view, problems and broken promises. The result is a complex set of exchanges, encapsulated in Lott's excellent ear for dialogue, which captures the sense of a real shared history reaching a point of crisis.
White City Blue is, fittineg enough, probably the most grown-up treatment of the trials and tribulations of maleness in a generation which seems to take too many of its behavioural cues from Loaded and FHM. Lott has written a novel which is entertainineg funny and sad, tinged with the realisation that things change and, as Lott puts it himself, 'when things
BOOKS REVIEWS continued Winn's first novel — part spiritual
quest, part comic travelogue — i manages to be both brasth confident The “Elmo-Pagan and charmingly naive about distant
I Octopus Messiah ‘: lanWinn(lMP£7.99)**¢s
. planer with dreadlocks, a round-the- ' world air ticket and a yen for soulful
places, new friends and interactions with the local populace. Spurred on by a curiosrty of nature, pharmaceuticals and Terence McKenna's shaman routine, Winn leaves a cushy number (girlfriend, job, money) in search of . . . something. On the way he develops a messiah complex, finds a precious stone
Come fly With lan Winn: an astral
enlightenment. Failing that, there’s always ganja, girls and gums galore on the hippy trail in india.