London, Robert Frost and TC, Boyle for this IS that rare and deeply unfashionable thing, the slow burning Wilderness adventare that echoes the racial and environmental themes of a nation.

Kafka's c'risp riting style, sharply defined characters and Ianguorous but controlled plot development are as IIIIFN'OSSI‘JP as the way she has singularly redefined a macho genre. Ric h and re.'.ardir‘g stuff, you can file Iii/e Aroth next to Boyle's The Tort/Ha (Kt/rtair‘ Paul Dale)

ERO'I C FICTION Maureen Gibbon Swimming Sweet Arrow (Sceptre EIO)

Vangie Raybuck and her girlfriend lune Keel are poor white trash out for some fun in rural Pennsylvania Given their geographicai location and social status, this means dope, home and sex mth their boyfriends, Del and Ray, ciurte often in the same car

After leaving school, the girls banker after some semblance of respec tability and set up an unsteady home \.‘.‘|III their respec tine rednecks Dumb happ.ness is soon thwarted hor'tever, since Vangre has already done the dirty ‘.'.’IIII her irrah's brother tileaninfinle, on the other side of I()\.'.It, June's keeping it 'n the Y'a'n'li, ‘.'.EI'I Ray's sibling, Luke

\‘Jh le t'irs is all very Jerr‘y Springer, I~.Ia;ireen (izobon's debut misguidedly attempts to create something approac rung deotr: in \y’angre's struggle to marce sense o‘ her life Islisgurcled,

III' I‘ \u\\' .\'r \\'t ctr“ e

104 THELIST i: 2’, 2f)”,-’)

" «so.fifififihfit‘tcom/dflma1“ - why

because searches for grand meanings by brain-dead protagonists tt(I‘.(‘ very little to offer a hungry reader (Catherine Bromley


Rose Tremain Music & Silence (Vintage £6.99)


This histor'cal drarna by Rose "Iren‘ain won the \‘Jhitoread Novel »\‘.'.arcl last year and (It‘S(‘I'\.(‘(I 3,! so, szi‘c e ts sumptuous ar‘ci orec se "e'tcie' ng o‘ a and place I" the past is a "ea pleasure (fit/sic c‘i ,Si.’er‘ce s set i" the l7th ce"tt.ry at the Dams" ( out o‘ King Cl‘rlstiar‘ l\.', unite-re a ‘,()c.ll(l Englisr‘ Etite'iist, Peter (. are, a!" '. tom the Roya Orchestra

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cehtie of t't-s debauched ‘.‘.or‘d s a story o‘ pure iove I)et‘.'.eer‘ Peter C larre and l'nrira I lsen, a maid of K rsteh, the king's estranged \.'.rfe The t)ac I\(;"();;.".(I to this plot :s exciuisitely clep c ted by Tremain, is. tl‘ It‘t‘ e‘t'eryclay trauairs o‘ Site r". t't:s harsh tirr‘e brougl‘t to : fe

The real success of the novel, .s the tibrancy of Its ("arac ters, none more so than the k rigs, earl \.‘.ife A cieirght ‘Doug Johnstone

CONTEMPORARY FICTION Barry Unsworth Losing Nelson (Penguin £6.99) One to appeal to eccentrics, this The first I‘.'.() chapters are an iii-depth description of The at: e 0? Cape St Vincent, h ‘.'.III(II Horatio Nelson defeated a St)a"._sh ai‘ntacia eight years before ci‘yir‘g at I'rafa;gar The narrator 'ttt(I(II("-<I(]("(I nauai "‘STOI'RII‘. Charles ("easby supplies the metals from his Nort" Ioncton fiat unhere ".e ie-e'iac ts battles '.'.ith his mode gai'eons whee- he‘s not r't'ng the biography of hrs sea‘ar hg I‘ero l"- fact, s;.c *‘ s C»easoy's fxatro". .'.rth Nelso", he tails of 't'te day "e became (It‘ ange" But Ceasbi, 's nero '.'.orsh p is cita engeci bi. " s sec retary I‘~.I ss I. ry,

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Davrd Nobbs

Going Gently

(Isl/illiam Heinemann £15.99)

It's a" odd o nc clence teat the t)'("t‘ se o‘ I)(I‘.'I(I Nobos latest \.'.or\ Se "s -atest to'ne

o' riero Isl Iesl e’crer

'rui‘rors teat of \.‘.':. Broadly snea-c r‘g, not" hoorcs cc)nce""

.r‘e'rtsc'lx'es ‘.'.:t" a cent"a- cliaiac K“ on t"e r cleatl‘oeci, 'ef ec tirtc; o" ooth past and orese"t Nooos on re‘.ec ton, "ray haze fared nette'

Kate s 9‘) years ar‘c: h a coma lle' cl‘; cireit ‘. sit a'xl t"e ‘.‘.()"‘,(‘II .r‘ the ‘.'.arci s een, "art and claw to be o'egnant oc togeriaria'ts, i.'."'ie she s ()‘.‘. ‘, retraces her steps from cr‘ idr‘ooci I" Soot" \'.a es I'i"c)tt(}" numerous "asbaitds, hearthrcurks, sc arms and adxehtures The charac ters are er‘trc !".(;i‘,’ '.'~.ell-dra‘.‘-.n and there are hii‘ts at ore of Nobbs earlier creations ‘.‘.it“- sorr‘e (It)S:II(I t )c.‘( hes i'er".n:scer‘.t of 3‘:s t..".." ngecl urhaii achehtui'er, Reggie Per" "

Ihis is, as the tztle suggests, a cier‘tie ride and Nobbs prose s \.:\t(f out It‘lS;..'t“". t)ac ect I'te one pec ur a' ti‘: ng s i‘o‘.‘. tll)llfll"(l a t)c)(,"k about a cli.r"ci ‘.'.oii‘.ar‘ ca'i ac taally be

Mars Robertson CONTEMPORARY FICTION Amit Chaudhuri

A New: III/orch (Picador {12.99)

I’reuous work by this anna'ci—ic. 't"r"() Incltai‘. author has promote-ct comparisons to ( helwo‘. and IM new»

I311? Ellie'eas peolte 'tisliecl to t“e

nexus-stands to read the next :nstalment of Great Expectations, it's hard to imagine anyone breaking into a trot to get back to this sluggish torr‘e

UIIl‘.’(‘ISIIy professor and recent dixorcee Jayoirt, t'lzes hon‘e from his nee. lzfe in America to his old parents in Calcutta for a t\'.'o-mont'n vacation He and his small son re-acguaint the'nselues \.‘.'l:I‘~ the food, customs and stif in ; heat of his native land, but essent.aily nothing else happens, E"ci'less days t'ilied saith meandering, paper and short italics blend into eac "‘ other as Iayo; t waits for the summer to end

To he fair, Chaucl'nur.'s use of desc ript've prose makes the literary comparison almost tenable, creating a claustrophobic atmosphere bathed in IttII‘TKIIIy But ultimately, "re ‘arls tc) etolce more than a nassng interest it‘. the charac ter's empty Ines -Keliy Apter'

MYTHICAL FICTION Timothy Findley Pilgrim (Faber £10.99)

. g ;. :5

Set in fin de szecie Zurich, Pilgrim crosses genres like current day tour.sts transgress stoplight seguehces Fasc :nating characters present their psychoses s;.c IT as the glamorous oaiierina beI.e\.i'ig she :nhabits the moon ".‘.'II|I(‘ the \.<Ilttt)yll( figure of Pilgrim cannot die despite numerous suic ide attempts

\.‘~.r'r‘: e Carl Gustav lung's fagr‘ant affairs and inne" demons form the t'oc us, there are cameo (it)t)(‘(It'(IIt((‘S by the r'lces of Mic “elange o and Oscar \".«:Icle ‘.'.I‘~()I‘t Plgrni, a cr;agnosed .sc hs/c)pi‘.ren;c, c‘airhs to K'IOV, or even be lung carries a music bag and accrciW‘taliy caIEs himse'f an artist, ra SI"(} the possbiiity that psych atry, 'st‘ art, is last another way of nterpretihg the world

Related through straight narrat.‘.e, j()1..'"(IIS and letters, Timothy Finciley's tehth note? 's a tra y rnagit"iceht trip c L". I'(‘(‘l\S o‘ the I he moments of B'a'n Stoker <I"(I \‘m s e Collr‘s like I‘Ith century ctetec tine t'Ic tro", Pug/rm

(lixtJIQt‘SIITc‘\.'.I1()(I'T(IZII(‘\.\IIV The antidote, though, Is harcie" to find Denyse Preset

STAR RATINGS Unnussahle \"ery good \‘t'ortl‘. a shot Be‘ots ax'erage You've been married