LANGUAGE VOLUME The F-Word Jesse Sheidlower ed (Faber £5.99)

Outrage, confusion, despair, lust or the natural reaction on hearing the full- time results. Just some of the moments when the f-word comes spouting forth without the rigours and discipline of second thought or self-censorship. You'll hear it on every street in every town and, despite what your elders have you believe, it was ever thus.

Yet, in Jesse Sheidlower's second compilation of all the curses he could find (a true labour of love, if ever there was one) between absofuckinglutely and zipless fuck, he recalls that it was as recently as 1965 when Kenneth Tynan let slip the first four-letter telly outburst. As we are explicitly to learn, Rabbie Burns was slipping in unfettered Anglo-Saxonisms left, right and centre well before then.

Entertain friends and family alike with the names of a 16th century kestrel and a military drinking bout as well as the relatively recent first citated use of ‘feck’. (BD)

CRIME FICTION Bad Night Is Falling

Gary Phillips (No Exit £6.99) ****'k

It's something of a cliche to compare every modern-day American crime writer to James Ellroy, but it’s particularly apt here.

Phillips looks back to post-World War II, pre-Watts Riots LA for the keys to the city's current racial tensions, and finds them in political corruption, capitalist greed and police racism. Unlike Ellroy, however, he uses this social backdrop not in itself or for psychological character study, but to give depth and relevance to a tight thriller.

In the previous two novels, lvan Monk has investigated a skinhead gang and the murder of a Korean shopkeeper. Here, the hate between all of LA’s ethnic groups crackles in the air like electricity before a thunder storm. The mistakes of the city's past and the numbing murder‘rate of its present would appear to be nothing compared to what’s to come, as Phillips draws us to the edge of the racial abyss that is America's future. (AM)

SOCIAL THRILLER Beloved Stranger

Clare Boylan (Little, Brown £16.99) *irir

After almost 50 years of dubiously happy marriage, Lily and Dick are finally enjoying a contented co- existence. That is until Lily wakes in the night to find her husband tackling an imaginary intruder with a shotgun.

This surreal incident is the beginning of Dick's decline into manic depression; now his wife and daughter must try to cope with his dangerous delusions along with moments of heart-breaking honesty and eloquence. This sudden rupture also forces Lily to reassess how she has played her role as wife in a half-century which has seen the shifting values of pre and post- feminism. Both marriage and madness are described in a way which is at turns disquieting and endearing.

Beloved Stranger captures both the intimacy and strangeness of family life, but ultimately we are given no insight into Dick's mental illness. Like his family, we are on the outside, looking in at his distressing ordeal. (MS)


With Your Crooked Heart

Helen Dunmore (Viking £16.99) 1%

Helen Dunmore won the Orange Prize for a previous novel; consequently this, her latest, is attracting plenty of adoring attention. Don't be taken in. It's a hollow, pretentious work peopled by wooden characters and larded with clumsy sixth-form imagery.

A bitter, brittle tale, it glides coolly past an overweight alcoholic's relationship with her daughter, and her abuse at the hands of a pair of dashing brothers. Dunmore’s style smacks of Fay Weldon without the wit or Margaret Atwood without the emotional integrity. The mannered prose jars at every turn, and no amount of self-conscious hide-and- seek with tenses and pronouns can disguise the characters' basic lack of charisma or appeal.

This novel is profoundly and ostentatiously certain of its own importance; but it’s basically unconvincing and a little bit embarrassing, the intellectual equivalent of a little girl done up in her mum‘s best frock and lippy. (HM)

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' Authors at Sauchiehall Street in September


A must for all coffee-lovers and cafi‘eine junkies! FREE BUI‘ TICKETED EVENT. (availablcfivm Watastonc’: and Costa Cofl‘ec - 0141 353 0713)


Best known as one half of TWO FAT LADIES, Clarissa goes on a culinary journey through Scotland’s past where authentic recipes are brought to life with anecdotes and artifacts from history.

Reading and signings.

TICKETS £2/L l ("we gm pm ofrb: boat)


“Confessions of a Window Cleaner”

The rip roaring, eye-opening, jaw-dropping

autobiography of the ultimate 705 sex symbol and the star of the Confessions films. Robin will be here to

discuss his incredible career and his autobiography and signing copies afterwards.



WATERSTONE’S FILM CHALLENGE VENUE - Glasgow Film Theatre, Rose Street

(all participants must be seated by 8.30pm)

Think you know your films? Well, we’d like to

challenge you on that! So come along and test your knowledge for what promises to be a spanking good evening - and lots of fab prizes tool


(rum also malabkfi'om GFI‘ - 0141 332 8128)


Founded in 1955, the NFSH is acknowledged to be the princi- pal organisation for spiritual healing in the UK. This evening, led by trainer Lindsay Wilson, they will be discussing the details of their discipline and also some actual ‘healing’ as weU. FREE BUT TICKETED EVENT


“All Quiet on the Orient Express”

Nurturing his literary talents while working as a London bus driver, Scottish author Magnus’s first novel, “REST RAINT OF BEAST S” was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

This is the launch of his new novel.


SEP 7.00 PM


“Blood Rain”

The Sunday Telegraph said of him “Among Briu'sh crime writers, he remains very much the man to beat. No one else can match him for style, for imagination, or for sheer beastliness, as his last novel - a bravura piece of depravity - triumphantly proves”. This is the launch of the seventh book of the Aurelio Zen series.

TICKETS £1 (Mwmqw back)


Every Sunday afternoon in the Basement, come along and relax with the Sunday Papers and the soothing sound of our talented musicians.

FOR 'l‘l(il\’li’l‘8 AND .\i'l()1{ 1:, INFORMATION

153—157 Sauchichall Street

0141 332 9105

9-23 Sep 1999 THE LIST 87