' BLACK COMEDY
The Cutting Edge Of Barney Thomson (Piatkus £6.99) 1k * 1: a: 1k
IIIB [ILIIIIII ' IIEII Y
a“: V ‘ ‘ .4. Douglas Lindsay made his mark last year with The Long Midnight Of Barney Thomson, his hilarious debut novel about a hapless Glasgow barber’s unwitting descent into the world of serial killing. Managing to escape being captured by the skin of his teeth at the end of the first novel, we pick Barney up once again as he goes on the run in the Highlands.
Disillusroned police Sergeants Mulholland and Proudfoot have been assigned the thankless task of discovering whether Thomson is Glasgow's answer to Sweeney Todd or an unfortunate idiot guilty of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. With the latter being the case, Barney fails to disappomt when he hides Out at an isolated monastery; the only one in Britain to already have its full complement of serial killers.
A flawless follow—up to an impressive debut, this IS extremely well-written, highly amusing and completely unpredictable in its outrageous plot twrsts and turns. (CB)
Anonymous Rex (HarperColIins £10.99) at a: a:
Set in some vague parallel universe where dinosaurs and man share the Los Angeles crimescape, Anonymous Rex tells the story of hard-boned dino detective Vincent Rubio and his drug- addled attempts to avenge his partner’s death.
From the moment you start reading Eric Garcia's book, you are never in any doubt that this guy can write, each page dripping With Marlowesque exposition and allegorical swagger. In Garcia’s world, the mighty dinosaur is the suffering minority group. The trouble here is his truly original idea is Spread too thin over the 276 pages and what starts as first rate Jim Thompson ends up as second class Michael Crichton.
There is, however, much to enjoy here,
not least of all the rich prose which indicates that Garcia is one to watch.
Let’s hope his next book is a collection of short stories or a novella because that one Will be a piledriver (PD)
' RELATIONSHIP FICTION ; Tony Parsons
Man And Boy (HarperCollins £6.99) ***
‘ Ii ~\i':u 7"u‘ 1‘ a‘mlygliul
Tony Parsons sets aSide his loud- mouthed reputation for this novel, replacing it with an honest attempt to
examine the topsy-turvy world of
human relationships. What we get is Man And Boy, a story that is sometimes moving and often funny, but also one that occasionally drifts off into over-sentimentality and corny cliche.
Thirty-year-old TV chat show producer Harry Silver has a one night stand, losing his wife and job as a result. He is left struggling to bring up his unfeasibly well-behaved son, whom he realises he hardly knows. Through this process, he comes to appreciate the love he had, and what a terribly unfair but beautiful upper middle class world this is.
This is all very well, but the conclusions of the book are pretty vague, and it all goes a bit FOur Weddings at the end. Just pray that Hugh Grant is unavailable for the film versron. (DJ)
BLACK COMEDY John Kelly
The Little Hammer (Cape £10) * ‘k at
Slight in Size and light in tone, there is nonetheless a solemn, almost weighty air to this surreal story of a murderous painter, lost in his own imagination and old newspaper clippings. At times, the effect IS reminiscent of an updated Flann O’Brien, as John Kelly casts a self-mocking, sardonic eye over Irishry in general and the cultdom of saints in particular. But the undercurrent of madness speaks of a little something rather more deep and deadly.
Shining through his descriptions of strange paintings, spectral grandmothers and the burying and unbearing of dead things, IS Kelly’s obvrous love of language. He is particularly skilled at practising a sort of intellectual malapropism in which words and names are subverted by Juxtaposing and replacing them With others that are altogether wrong, but still completely illuminating. A book to be read, and savoured, at a speaking pace, (TD)
Continued over page
5PM FRI I7TH MARCH
v'- ()0 bl‘cI'IiIhI 't x 51“?) K)
7PM TUES 21 ST MARCH
will be discussing his book
I THE MOVIE TRAVELLER I
7PM WED 22 MARCH
wiII be Iciuncning the paperback of nis novel
I __Q_UR FATHERS l
8PM SAT 25TH MARCH
CABARET IN THE CAFE
the est new stan-uo, per ormance poetry, music and spoken word in the city.
7PM MONDAY 27TH MARCH
will deliver the latest in his series of talks on Buddhism.
7PM TUESDAY 28TH MARCH
FENG SHUI IN YOUR HOME
discoVer the principles of Feng Shui and how to Cipply them to evcrday life.
I COMING SOON I
I OTH APRIL ANTONIO. CARLUCCIO I 7TH APRIL ANDREW GREIG 20TH APRIL KAZUO ISHIGURO I ITH MAY MICHAEL ONDAATJE
98 Buchanan Street, Glasgow GI 38A 8am to 10pm, Monday to Wednesday, 8am to I Ipm Thursday to Saturday, IOam to 9pm Sunday
16—30 Mar 2000 “Elm”!