LITERARY MYSTERY WILL EAVES The Oversight (Picador £12) 000
Using the god-given gifts of memOry. experience and the strange capacity to see in the dark. Daniel Rathbone is attempting the uneasy transition between childhood and adulthood. On his 25th birthday. he inherits a Victorian writing box which holds a secret that will allow him to make this switch. To decipher the secret. we must first decode Daniel's life and the ways of his family and fnends.
Having established the novel's drive. Eaves propels the reader through often humorous childhood scrapes and adult escapades. never losing sight of the mysterious box and its secret. From Bath to Brixton, from the 19603 to the 1990s. episodes charged with deeper meaning are laid down like pieces of a jigsaw by an observant writer. attuned to a poetic style. And when the revelation does at last arrive. it’s a credit to the well-paced. ordered narrative that the reader and the protagonist achieve this enlightenment simultaneously. (Catherine Bromley)
TRAVELOGUE WILL FERGUSON Hokkaido Highway Blues (Canongate $39.99) 0... In a tradition that stretches back to Jack Kerouac's seminal road novel On The Road. Canadian Will Ferguson bets his fellow teachers that he will be the first person ever to hitchhike the length of Japan. Romantically, he follows Sakura Zensen — or the Cherry
Blossom Front — which begins In Okinawa In the south and advances to Hokkaido. Japan's most northerly pcint. The Japanese themselves mark the cherry blossom's progress by conSuming copious amounts of sake and awarding the trees some serious media attention. Hokkaido Highway B/ues is full of revelaIOry tales about the Japanese. He talks about their love hotels. the most entertaining of which are James Bond-style Secret Hideouts where. instead of a chocolate on the pillow. you are left a condom. Ferguson's first travelogue is a feelgood book which offers some sharp insights into both the Japanese and Western psyches. (Denyse Presley)
JAMES ELLROY The Cold Six
Thousand (Century 5:16.99) 0...
James Ellroy says he don't write crime fiction no more. That's a bunch of hooey. He calls his book ‘historical fiction’. but it's got crimes up the wazoo. Opening in the wake of the JFK assassination. it has a racist Las Vegas cop moonlighting in Dallas with a LVPD sanction to murder a black pimp (for 6000 bucks. hence the title). the Mob attempting to sting millionaire wacko Howard Hughes. FBI drag queen J. Edgar Hoover conspiring with ex—CIA heavies and lawyers in the Kennedy cover-up. and heroine trafficking from Vietnam.
Ellroy also commits a few crimes of his Own, playing fast and loose with the truth. mixing
fact and fiction. historical and real-life characters. Certainly. this sequel to American Tab/01d dramatises America's mid-60$ secret histOry in great detail. To achieve this. Ellroy has stripped his prose to the minimum: just the facts In staccato sentences. It makes for dense. but powerfully fascinating reading. (Miles Fielder)
COMIC THRILLER COLIN BATEMAN Shooting Sean (HarperCollins £6.99) 0...
In Shooting Sean. Irish journalist turned author Colin Bateman has produced another assured, riveting and most importantly. hilarious knockabout thriller with apparent ease. Like Divorcing Jack before it. the anti- hero of this story is Dan Starkey. sardonic journalist and generally put-upon misfit. Having been diddled out of a huge royalty cheque. Starkey is once more resorting to scrabbling around trying to make a living.
As a result. he snaps at the chance of work when he's commissioned to write the biography of fading Irish Hollywood star Sean O'Toole (an utterly transparent Connery-alike). Naturally. things don't go according to plan, and Starkey quickly gets utterly out of his depth with sectarian terrorists. drug smugglers and all sorts of seedy. seamy low- lifes. The pace of Shooting Sean is relentless. as is the quick-fire comedy and brilliantly ludicrous plot twists. This book is a wickedly funny and sparkling thriller to savour (Doug Johnstone)
AUTHOR EVENTS HIGHLIGHTS
Saturday 12th May time TBC
ROBOT WAR RACES
A day of mad machinery and crazy car chases. Please call the branch for more details.
No tickets needed.
EDINBURGH WEST END
Tuesday 8th May at 6pm
modern times. Tickets: free.
A reading and signing by one of the most talented writers of
Details of all events at Waterstones can be
found in the listings section
scomsn BOOK or THE MONTH £2 OFF in MAY
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26 Apr—10 May 2001 THE LIST 107