Discussion Groups @ Borders

Science Fiction/Horror/Fantasy Writers’ Workshop Tuesday lst and Tuesday 14th June at 8pm.

Our fortnightly workshop. where you can discuss your work.

Scottish Fiction Discussion Group Saturday 5th June at 11.303m.

lan Rankin’s Black and Blue.

Odeon Film Discussion Group Tuesday 22nd June at 7.30pm.

If you love movies you can't afford not to be here.

Science F iction/F antasy Discussion Group Wednesday 23rd June at 7.30pm.

Mary Doria Russell‘s award winning The Sparrow. Contemporary Fiction Discussion Group Saturday 26th June at 12.30pm.

William Boyd‘s Armadillo.

New Group

The Patrick Moore Astronomy Group

Thursday 3rd June at 7pm.

This exciting new group gives you the opportunity to discover the wonders of the sky at night. From talks to observatory visits to informal discussions. Plus Weekly creative writing groups and fortnightly poetry writing group.

10% off all featured discussion group titles until the date of the group meeting.

June Events @ Borders

Scottish Claymores

Tuesday 8th June at 2.30pm

Come and meet the players of the Scottish Claymores on the lead up to the final game of the season.

Eileen Campbell and Evelyn Hood

Friday 11th June at 3pm

Tea. scones. chat. romance. Enjoy afternoon tea with two of Britain‘s best loved. romantic/family saga writers.

(free scone with any hot drink between 2.45—4pm).

Feng Shui in Your Home

Monday 14th June at 7pm

Come and learn the principles of the art of balancing the environment to create a harmonious. positive atmosphere with Feng Shui Scotland. Hot Hodder Crime

Wednesday 16th June at 7.00pm.

Your chance to meet some of the hottest crime writers around: Paul Johnston. John Connolly and Nicholas Blincoe will discuss death between the covers.

Libby Purves and Antonia Swinson

Thursay 17th June at 7pm

Both had well established careers before breaking into the publishing world. Tonight they will be discussing their work and how to make it as a writer. Richard Maxwell The Real Horse Whisperer Wednesday 23rd June at 1pm

Join a real life horse whisperer as he demonstrates some of the skills which have made him such a celebrated figure in the animal world.



98 BUCHANAN STREET, GLASGOW GI 38A 014] 222 7700

94 THE LIST 27 May—10 Jun 1999



SHOWBIZ BIOGRAPHY Rat Pack Confidential Shawn Levy (4th Estate £12) ****

Between 1958 and 1963 America felt like a new Eden. The release of Frank

Sinatra’s ’Come Fly With Me’

symbolised a period during which that nation revelled in an optimism and

sense of possibility that would come to an abrupt end when Jack Kennedy had

, his head blown off. Both men feature i heavily in Shawn Levy's Rat Pack ; Confidential, an ’analysis’ written in


highly subjective style, which explores the dark and light sides of the American moon.

Levy’s ostensible subject IS the Rat Pack

a loosely defined group focused around

Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr,

Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop but his

real interest is the impact they had on people’s lives around the turn of the 60s

Instead of dry biography, we get a portrait of a schizophrenic nation defined by love songs and hate crimes, idealism and dodgy deals all told in a hipster patois that makes James Ellroy read like Proust. This is American History Sex. (PR)


Scotland's Century

Colin Bell (HarperCollins £19.99)

* ***

The history of what’s on our doorstep is often overshadowed by events of more global significance. So here, writer and broadcaster Colin Bell attempts to tell the story of Scotland over the last century through autobiographical essays of 40 Scottish men and women.

The class, gender and geographical spread of those featured is fairly even, with contributors from all over the mainland and the Islands. Every possible profession is covered from chip shop owners to clergymen to bank robbers. Most contributors are unknown outside of their professions and families; others are more familiar faces, rugby commentator Bill McLaren being one example.

To the book’s detriment, only the younger contributors rock music impresario Bruce Finlay being one draw any strong parallels between past and present, many preferring simply to reminisce. A charming and often engaging book, it gives an insight into many a fascinating life that might otherwise be ignored in documenting Scotland's past. (MR)


David Toop (Serpent’s Tail £12.99) *1? * t

The follow-up to his thunderous Ocean Of Sound, David Toop’s Exotica is one of the most moving and illuminating

5 ruminations on the transcendental and

affirmative powers of music. Taking off from the suicide of his

wife, Toop attempts to re-construct the

world around him via sound, to draw

, some sense from chaos and flux. As

much a biography in the classic, confessional sense as a travelogue or

' mere music book, Toop's pilgrimage

through several continents, genres and ; belief systems is epic in scope yet

i marks out a territory where everything 2 effortlessly interconnects.

So, we have Ornette Coleman

squeezing shoulders with Lassie the

wonder-dog and Yukio Mishima with Sun Ra. Toop subtitles his book 'fabricated soundscapes in a real

world’ and sees in exotica's re-creation e of a never-never land of pink fluffy ' bikinis and benign face-painted

natives, the urge to the simple ’truths’

of utopia and for beautiful lies you could live in. (DKe)


RIC RESEARCH Piercing The Darkness

Katherine Ramsland (Boxtree £9.99)

** * Vampires exist. Not necessarily in the

. role of Dracula, but there are people

who drink blood, seek the darkness

and draw power from those off whom : they feed.

As a psychologist and commentator on the Anne Rice books, Katherine

Ramsland went searching for these

peOple in her native New York. The result is a flickering and somewhat

patchy read. The device of hanging the

narrative around her hunt for the truth

about the disappearance of

investigative reporter Susan Walsh is

actually disruptive to the flow of the

, book. As is Ramsland’s irritating way of I reporting her interviews and

' experiences in vampire-orientated clubs and on-Iine games rooms.

But once she starts moving into her

own analysis of what it is that makes a

modern-day vampire, this becomes quite an enthralling read. And her final encounter - whatever the veracity of

her interviewee —— gets right to the i bleeding heart of the matter. (TD)

BLACK COMEDY I The Swine's Wedding

Daniel Evan Weiss (Serpent’s Tail

£6.99) ***

They say the course of true love never runs smoothly; for Allison Pennybaker

5 and Solomon Beneviste, engagement is

a veritable rollercoaster straight to hell. Allison’s family are determined to have an elaborate Christian wedding,

while Solomon’s mother is equally

determined that her son should not

forget his Jewish heritage. She begins to trace their family histOry, a search

which rapidly becomes an obsession as

it leads her into the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, and the couple ~ soon find themselves pulled in

opposite directions as their families