" mm natal East Of The Mountains
David Guterson (Bloomsbury £16.99) ****
The follow-up to David Guterson's best-selling debut Snow Falling On Cedars, this gentle, though never mawkish, tale details the last few months of Dr Ben Givens. A retired heart surgeon in his seventies, Givens has terminal cancer of the colon and, rather than face a slow. painful death and be a burden on his family, he resolves to travel back to the rural
1 place of his birth and blow the top of
his head off.
Through a series of mishaps, accidents and diversions, Givens finds
himself mingling with the economically-strapped strata of American society: the
,3! of t.lg.e'-'A10urrrczirr.s
itinerant fruit pickers, the wetbacks. the hobos and the rail riders. These
brushes with an existence that his years as a doctor excluded him from, trigger
memories of his own early life growing up on an apple farm, his time as a mountain soldier in World War II and the happy years with his now dead wife. The cumulative effects of his new experiences and his recollections subtly alter
Givens' perceptions of his place in humanity.
East Of The Mountains is a well-observed piece of fiction and Givens' life is unfolded like the history of the land through which his adventures take him. Guterson’s precise writing animates the pungent colours and smells of the land and the doctor’s changing seasons.
Occasionally, the allegorical incidents which power Givens' reasoning are jarrineg obvious but these are the exceptions in a subtle story of one man coming to terms with his own death. (Jonathan Trew)
atternpt to stamp therr' resr‘rectrvc,> faiths
on each other.
Seen from the \'I(?\\t)()lrtls ol two of the central characters, the bricle-to-be and her future rrrother' rrr iaw, as well as ()1)](.‘Cil‘.’(: reports hour the var ous authorities rrrvrulvecl, the story of the ooornecl lover's rrnfolrls wrth crushrnc} rnevrtabrlrt‘,/ Pepperc-(l zvrth enough blacl' hurnour to prevent it from becornrng too depressrng, this its still, nonetheless, far from light entertarr'rrnent. rKK)
COMIC DRUG FICTION As Good As It Gets
Simon Nolan (Quartet fIO) s»:
When a novel's bacl; cover protler's a
collec tron of accolades detarlrnq exactly
how pant-islettrngly cor‘nrcal rt rs, you'cl usually be well advrsed to take these comments'wrth a cellar-full of salt. Or steer well clear altogether: lhanlctully, thrs rsn’t the case wrth SrrnOn Nolan's genurnely funny debut.
The Shallow Grave-esotch plot focuses
on four twentysonrethrng slackers who
share a fiat rn Brrglrtorr. lht-v'r‘e paid a vrsrt by a mate who their disappears, leavrng a callrng card of live kilos of cocaine What follows rs an errter‘tarorno exarnrrmt'orr (It II.e l‘rrg‘rrs (rl’x'l1t)‘.'\.s(ri(lltfllrrtnrtF/(tt‘hs Full ()1 sharpness and xvrt, it's r'arnrnecl \vth the kind of spot-on observations about eureryclay etzrstenc c: you wish you'd
rr tarle yourself.
More ( rut rally, rt'. a darn sroht rnore
rrkeable, and therefore readable, than a lot of drug-related books whrch purport to tell rt like rt rs, but in reality, say nothing net“. on the subject IDKO) CONTRIBUTORS THIS ISSUE: Thorn l,)rbclrn, Brian lj/ortalriscir‘r, Rob l'r‘aser', Davrd Keenan, Krr‘sti/ Knaggs, Dawn Kotre, Mark Robertson, Peter Ross, Jonathan TreW
* 1i i w ‘k Outstanding
* i it 1: Recommended * 1: it Worth a try
a: 1k So-so
fiesta U *»;;*»~. s 1,“, F. g .21:
w}: e195"; (film; '1‘) Watcrstone’s Edinburgh
The List has six copies of
by Colin Bell to give away, worth £19.99 each.
Simply answer the following question: Glasgow was European City of Culture in which year?
Answers on a postcard to
ScotComp, The List, 14 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1TE no later than Wednesday 9 June 1999.
iI'ItII'" I"I in‘!‘T_Tl"'iI' m
MAY 7.30 PM
MAY 7.00 PM
__ JUN 7.00 PM
“M 7.00 PM
_ JUN 7.00 PM
“JUN 7.30 PM
WA'I‘E RS'1‘( )N E'S
East of the Mountains (Bloomsbury £16.99)
NAWAL EL SAADAWI
A Daughter of Isis (ZED Books £14.95)
ERIC MILES WILLIAMSON
East Bay Grease (Bloomsbury £9.99)
Midnight Falcon (Bantam £16.99)
44 (Macmillan £14.99)
CITY CAFE £1
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27 May—10 Jun 1999 THE U3T95