Manchester Slingback is one of the semi-serious proponents of young British fiction's New Puritanism, whose acolytes seek. to eschew such things as attempts at poetry, authorial lﬂIQTJECIIODS and devices like the flashback.
Blincoe breaks a few of his own rules here and there in this novel, but The Dope Priest has a remarkably clean- lined clarity, and there is a drive to it that keeps the pages flipping. (Damien Love)
POST—MODERN NARRATIVES Peter De Moncey- Conegﬁano
De Moncey Novelettes (Basingstoke Press £7.99) at
Even for people With a chronic dose of 60s and 70s nostalgia, this is hard gomg. A succession of nine narratives trace life from the latter part of the former decade to the middle of the latter, moving from spaced-out hippie chic to politically aware opposition to the ’spectacle’.
None of it, though, is espeCially edifying. The stream-of-consciousness technique of several stories acts more to elucidate the ponderous self- reflec‘tiveness of the author than the process of a mind in free-flow. The first story is a succession of rambling, drug-addled pontifications from a first person narrator who seems obsessed With the breasts of women he's Jumped. Less memory piece than mammary feast, it's obscurantism is not unforgivable, JUSI the fact that once decoded, it has little to say.
Later, there are patches of cringingly embarrassing Joyce parody and much heavy handed reflection on the plight of the proletariat Generally, the least said, the better. (Steve Cramer)
CRIME RE-ISSUE Ronan Bennett
The Second Prison (Review £6.99) ****
Written like a rriemoir, The Second Prison is the story of Kane, a conVicted terrorist who interweaves his recollections of prison and past crimes With a dramatic narrative set in the present, A collapsed case means Kane is released. He vows to kill Dec, a colleague turned tout who betrayed the loyalty of their unit. Meantime, Harry Tempest, a
member wounded in Belfast, also has
scores to settle. His significance to the Irishman only becomes clear as the narrative unfolds. Kane falls in love With Ruth but the past, the second prison of the title, hangs over their lives.
Although the IRA's recent pledge to put its arms beyond use might date the debut novel written in 1991, its hopes and fears still parallel the current problems in the peace process also rooted in history. In prose both poetic and vicious, Bennett has deVised a harsh thriller underlaid With an overwhelming sense of longing. (Denyse Presley)
PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMA Margot Livesey
The Missing World (Secker & Warburg £10) * 1: it
Authors can be so bloody frustrating. They come up With an interesting premise for a story, develop it, but spoil it by trying to heap on sub-plot and depth. In this case, Margot Livesey Winds up the readers instead of reeling them in.
Hazel loses three years of her memory in an aCCident, in that period, she had broken up With her long-term partner Jonathan, He uses this as an opportunity to re-establish their relationship, With Hazel none the Wiser. Two other characters appear Freddie, a roof repairing, Americ an ex-pat and Charlotte, a struggling actor - who are inextricably drawn to the house where Hazel is convalescmg and has subsequently become a Virtual prisoner to Jonathan and his obsessive personality.
The Missing World is an interesting story of dilemmas, but suffers from erratic Jumps between the leading protagonists. The characterisation means we barely Care what happens either way. (Mark Robertson)
* t ‘t at * Outstanding
1* t v: a; Recommended * t * Worth a try
i: t SO-SO
7PM TUESDAY 30TH MAY
will be helping rediscover spirit cmd passion in the workploce
7PM THURSDAY 8TH JUNE
the connoisseur's guide lo nosing, lasting and enioying Scotch
7PM MONDAY 12TH JUNE
will be discussing Universal Compassion aspen of his conlinuing series of ' loIks on buddhism
7.30PM THURSDAY 15TH JUNE
will be performing his 0er brand of acoustic music in the cafe
12.30PM SATURDAY 17TH JUNE
MARY HIGGINS CLARK
the Queen of American Crime fiction wiII be in-lere signing copies of her new book
BEFORE I SAY GOODBYE
7PM MONDAY 19TH JUNE
will be discussing his work 0de his new novel
HOW THE DEAD LIVE
98 BUCHANAN STREET, GLASGOW GI 38A TEL: 014] 222 7700 80m to I Ipm, Monday to Saturday, IOom to 9pm Sunday
2s Mai, 8 iii" 2000 THE LIST 111