February booksomusicovideo-cafl 8pm Robert Knox Sat 5 Feb introduces a unique mix of music, performance poetry. spoken word and stand-up comedy in Cabaret in the Cafe. 7pm Medium Rita Rogers Wed 9 Feb will be discussing her new book Soul Mate a practical. spiritual guide to finding true love. 7pm Join Charles Alexander The 15 Feb and Martin Taylor to celebrate the launch of Masters of Jazz Guitar: An evening of discussion and performance. 5pm Joanna Trollope Fri 18 Feb will be signing copies of her new book Marrying Mistress. 7pm Kelsan Tharchin M0" 28 FBb Buddhist monk will be discussing Buddhist meditation in the next in his series of talks. 1pm Alexei Sayle Tue 29 Feb will be signing copies of his new book Barcelona Plates. 7pm Feng Shui Scotland We 29 Feb will be instore discussing the art of balancing your home environment and enhancing your day to day living. Plus our regular programme of children’s events (every Saturday at l lpm). creative writing and poetry classes. discussion groups. Jazz music with Bobby Wishart (every Friday at 7.30pm) and much, much more... For more information 98 Buchanan Street, Glasgow G1 3BA 8am to 10pm Monday to Wednesday 8am to 11pm Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 9pm Sunday

N THE "ST 3-17 Feb 2000



REVENGE THRILLER Nine Mil Rob Ryan (Headline £9.99) tr“:

Yes, it’s another heist-goes-belly-up plot. No kudos for innovation in the storyline category here, as the usual suspects (motley gang of amateur criminals, flamboyant art collecting crime boss, undercover cops) line up to get their grimy mitts on a million dollar attache case.

What distinguishes Rob Ryan's novel from lesser examples of this sub-genre is the author's skilful evocation of character and setting. The tough New Jersey dialogue is uncannin convmcing for a writer of Liverpudlian origin, and Nine [Vii/’5 futuristic world of organised crime, rundown casinos, self- destructive low-lifes and depraved porn websites is viwdly rendered. Indeed, readers may feel the need for a post-novel bath in order to cleanse themselves of Ryan’s sleazy vision.

Despite its brutality, Nine Mil is never less than compulswe. Ryan expertly juggles numerous plot strands while maintaining the suspense as the novel twists and teases its way towards the inevitable bloody shoot-out finale. (AR)


Stories Tom Paine (Review £12.99) at t t *

Anger is an energy, as John Lydon once said. For Tom Paine, it’s more than that; it’s the driving force behind much of the material which makes up this inspired and inspiring collection. Paine’s targets are destroyed with smart bomb accuracy, whether they be dumb-ass quarterbacks on the rampage in Nevada, or unscrupulous multi- nationals bringing leukaemia to the children of the Midwest via monstrous radio transmitters.

The author's vision isn't confined to the land of the free, however. Tales of Balinese engineering projects, Romanian TV Journalism, and weird heroics in Kuwaiti battle zones are

evidence of a writer with a truly global outlook, even if it is one seen through

American eyes. The best story is the Desert Storm-set ’Battle Of Khafii', as harrowing as it is

cinematic. It’ll be interesting to see if

the hotly tipped George Clooney Gulf

War movre Three Kings matches Paine's preCisely channelled righteous fury. (RF)


Toby Litt (Hamish Hamilton £9.99)

* t * *

Conrad Redman and his ex are mysteriously gunned down in a Soho restaurant. Fortunately, he Survives and begins a parallel investigation With the Met to find his former lover's killer. Toby Litt fans \NIH know he has a hand firmly on the nation's heartbeat but, perhaps Surprisingly, the Met's reputation fares better here than iii recent press coverage.

Corpsmg is still an exceptional thriller that marks a notable departure from Litt’s debut Beatniks, a comic pastiche of Kerouac and his ilk. This story (racks along at a rapid rate and is intercut With well-researched, morbidly poetic accounts of the devastating progress of bullets through flesh and bone,

The cult of celebrity and Victimliootl are up for scrutiny as is the tabIOid press. Despite a shudder in the direction of their tactics, Litt casts them a respectful nod, recognising the media's power in the face of potential miscarriages of JUSIICE‘. (DP)

SOCIAL REALISM The Season Ticket Jonathan Tulloch (Cape £IO) it t *



7 10mm WW

If you’re not fond of football, don’t be

put off by the title of this novel, Said

ticket for Newcastle United FC is certainly what drives the pair at the centre, but it's an aspirational

? metaphor, giving rise to little comment

on football. The central characters are Gerry, a

youth from a supremely dysfunctional

family complete with dying mother, abusive father and junkie Sister and Sewell, his big, daft mate, who attracts

? trouble from such varied Quarters as

the local psychotic dog-lover and a jilted ice hockey player. Their quest to save money for their tickets lead these

deprived petty thieves into a succession of ever darker schemes.

The novel is at its best in its sub- Roddy Doyle comic incidents, but tends to lay on its heroes woes too thick, so that some chapters read like overdone

country and western songs. For all that, the story is told briskly enough to keep the pages turning. (SC)