Jane Goldman

Dreamworld (HarperCollins £9.99) Unlike most first-time novelists, lane Goldman is already famous enough for Hello magazine to take an interest in her lovely home. She‘s philosophical about the celebrity that attends being Jonathan Ross’s formidably glamorous spouse. ‘Certain kinds of attention are unwelcome,’ she says. ‘But then again, so many people publish first novels that I‘m grateful to be noticed. I hope that it can stand on its own.‘

We all know the perils of celebrity forays into literature; but Goldman has a proven track record as a journalist and writer of non-fiction. Her novel Dreamworld is a witty, intelligent thriller that peeks behind the glitzy facade of a fictional American theme park. After a hideous crime, security officer Sylvia Avery helps to engineer a cover-up to protect the reputation of her beloved Dreamworld, uncovers a series of horrifying secrets, and opts to change sides.

In the process she is forced to face up to her own past and the childhood trauma that drives her to seek out a falsely constructed happiness. Here Dreamworld delves a little deeper than the average glossy mystery, so did Goldman find it hard to balance the human drama with the thrills and spills? ’It was difficult, but I also felt it was very

important for Avery’s character,’ she notes. ‘When people have had that type of childhood experience it tends to affect everything they do thereafter, and it’s the whole reason why Avery is so reluctant to pursue

the truth.’

Like her heroine, Goldman is a theme park devotee; she and her husband have a second home on Florida’s Space Coast. ‘I wouldn‘t say I was as romantic as Avery is about them, but I was always fascinated by the fact that you could create a whole city that was so new and clean, with its own police force and transport system.’

However, as one might expect of a published X-Files expert, she’s also a sucker for a good conspiracy theory.


Rhyme on his hands: John Hegley

Leisure principle: lane Goldman

A tour around the network of underground maintenance tunnels that ensures the smooth running of Walt Disney‘s utopia fired her imagination. ’It must just be the way my mind works,‘ she laughs. ‘I started

to think, "just what could happen down here"?’

John Hegley Edinburgh: EZK, Tue 22 Feb.

When not dancing with cabbages or searching for something to rhyme With Durrell (as in the author Lawrence), John Hegley likes to champion the underdog. Canine is king in Hegleyworld. Even if his mutt does have a hex on spex.

’It doesn't wear ’em,’ Luton’s finest power-pop poet explains. ’It doesn’t wear anything. It doesn't wear any clothes. It doesn’t wear any glasses. It’s wearing thin; that’s what it's wearing.’ The List, as the poet himself says, has the gist.

John Hegley is currently planning an autumn tour of a musical he intriguingly calls Dogs. Which sounds

Despite these dark imaginings, though, Goldman retains her fondness for America’s pleasure utopias, and is adamant that the nightmares of Dreamworld are fictional. Whatever Disney myths the Net theorists might spread, there have been no dark cars parked outside the Ross/Goldman home, or mysterious clicks on the phone lines. As yet. (Hannah McGill)

I Dreamworld is published on Mon 27 Feb.

suspiciously like the anti-Cats. ’Now, that's a negative perspective,’ he chides. ’lt's pro-dog.’ He is a dog rather than a cat person, though, is he not? ’I suppose it's true, but one likes to tread a middle ground; like a dat or a cog.’

Busy rehearsing new songs, Hegley is now playing without his long—time gUitarist and sidekick, the laconic Nigel. Musical differences may, or may not, have something to do With their split. 'Well, I’m shite and he’s not. That’s one difference. No, Nigel has moved up one by producing the radio series.’

At which pornt, Hegley gets to the root of his conundrum. 'Scurrilousl' he exclaims. ’Furrel, murrel, burrel, scurrel, scurrilous. Lawrence Durrell is/sCUrrilous!’ Case solved.

(Rodger Evans)

preview BOOKS

First writes

Putting debut novelists under the microscope. This issue: Greg Benjamin.

Who he? Greg Bt‘llldl'TIll ‘.‘..l\ t at»: raised in Ocean City, liltilyh‘illtl Exam seventeen, be Is a male model ’. .l":'.l novelist and considered l‘ot wort-'3. certain (ircles

His debut lt's (alleu landed and lt‘. the tale of teen model tuner lit'l‘d' Gorgeous in every may, fit sexwrtwr‘ year-old fox is a sum esstu international model, a uiade »\ and like, totally popuia' lo.» ruwiil '. be true7 You guessed it She's alm anoreXIc, inserure, hum of the powder and s<aied ul torri'r:it'~~..i 1 relationship. The reader l‘s .islmi it» endure her hapha/a'd routine. ‘i ;.-..i' l. confronting these and other profoundly serious issuws

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Grand claims corner 'llie book ‘.‘.til (1 is buzzrng' about him, insisted November's Vogue. No surprise llit'lt', really. However, his publisher". t lain. that Benjamin is this de< ade's lfiiet Easton Ellis crossed With Jay l.l< lriwrie. may leave you reeling

First paragraph test ’I (an: llt‘ll) it ll I'm hot. People tell me all llil‘ llll‘i' l just don't listen I dunno, beaut. is such a burden sornetinies And please don't be all like, Why are you pissiiir; and moaning when you're gorgeous) You’re so lucky, blah, blah, hlal: All l’i'. saying is that beauty (an be a double edged sword. Totally'

To whom the book is dedicated 'lo Sara, Ashley, Mom and Dad, ( aie,, Dot, Jess, Namejko, Nettie, lllltl‘.«l',, Martha, Stella and everyone at Quartet. Here’s to show that you (an have yOur cake and not eat it too ' (Catherine Bromley)

I Landed is published by ()ll.)llt It Books priced [9.



l7 Feb—2 Mar 2000 TIEUSTOS