an ancient ITT’)TEIIII',’. in which community is all. the individual is nothing, and strangers are fair game. Austere and unrelenting, potent With the turbulence of unspoken emotion, his harsh words enact this life that they describe. and leave haunting images Jostling in the mind.
TRAVEL TALE JOSIE DEW
The Sun In My Eyes: Two-Wheeling East (Little. Brown $18.99) 0.
Imagine that a wonderful friend has JUSI returned from a quite simply marvellous adventure in the Far East. You inVite her over to tell you all the interesting things abOut her cycling holiday in Japan. After a while. her initially diverting observations begin to seem a tad glib. The Sun sets. and darkness falls. Sooner or later. you pray. Josie'll be struck down With a rare form of amnesia. Morning approaches. and as you make a desperate bid for escape. she waffles on in twee oblivion. of the glory of the open road. and how tiny the little Japanese people are. You leave. pausing only to lock the door behind you. but before you stumble into bed. you hear one final, terrifying sentence: “Everyone says I should write it down and publish it?' With a shudder. you pop the key into your mouth and Sink into a troubled sleep. (Olly Lassman)
CRIME DRAMA NICK BARLAY Hooky Gear (Sceptre £10.99) 000
Hooky Gear is Nick Barlay's final part of a trilogy based in London. In it. he tells the story of J. a small time crook who has almost nothing going for him and even the almost is quickly stolen. Sent down for nine months following a botched job. he comes out having lost his wife. kids and the respect of his one-time mentor, local crime baron Uncle.
Written in local dialect but with a fast. bare conversational tone. you constantly expect something to happen round the next
paragraph. Unfortunately. nothing does most of the time. When Barlay is writing about a particular event like the gruesome but compelling torture scene With Uncle. yeti are completely engrossed but the rest is a v0id that keeps yOu reading. but orin lllSi. The author has drawn comparison to Elmore Leonard: another couple of books and this praise may IUSI be worthy. (Aly Burt)
LITERARY MYSTERY IAIN SINCLAIR Landor‘s Tower (Granta $715.99) COCO
Norton is an author whose commission to write a book on Landor takes him to the Ewyas Valley on the English- Welsh border. However. other images intrude: gangster book-dealers. leek-toting transsexuals. a fleeting sexual encounter. He listens to the garbled tapes of film researcher Karpor who travels south-west England investigating defence industry suiCides and the minor players in the Jeremy Thorpe murder trial. Somehow. he becomes implicated in the events Karpor describes.
lain Sinclair blends real and imagined characters. slippages in time and literary in-jokes but the beautifully- evokedlandscapeisthe one true constant. As NOrton is confronted With texts and transcripts. pop-Culture myths and mis- remembered histories. he struggles to recreate his own story.
There‘s been a bit of a backlash against post- modern tricksiness of late. notably last year's A// Hall The New Puritans anthology. But Sinclair's rich. earthy style and the energy of Landor's Tower make this more than just wilfully clever. (Kath Murphy)
CULTURAL STUDES BELL HOOKS
Salvation 'Women's Press €9.99i COO.
Subtitled ‘Black People And Love'. this is baSically an extended dissertation on why love has been disenfranchised in black communities. This brilliant lecturer and writer follows her excellent book All About Love. With this intense and highly academic investigation that strives. as its title Suggests. for some sort of salvation from the Cultural quandary which urban blacks now find themselves in.
Taking Cultural histories apart from James BaldWin through The Cosby Show and on to gangsta rap. it is unlikely that this Will appear in Oprah's recommended book list as it demands too much of its reader and offers few immediate concrete rewards. But the richness of her thinking and the breadth of her viSion is deeply impresswe. It is difficult to see who outside of bell hooks' students will buy this which is a great shame. as it could easily be as influential as Klein‘s No Logo. (Paul Dale)
James Kennaway Household Ghosts (Canongate £7.99) Omnibus of Scots writer's finest works. Christopher Brookmyre Boiling A Frog (Little. Brown $36.99) Paperback of Tartan Nomst's latest satire. Pauline McLynn Better Than A Rest (Headline £9.99) Mrs Doyle's seCOnd Dublin crime tale. Duckbacks Various tit/es (Duckworth) Jeremy Dyson. Danny MOynihan and other Culty sons re- launched.
Tony Strong The Decoy (Doubleday €9.99) Superior psycho-thriller inspired by Rachel Nickell's murder.
JULES NO 1
Neil Googe (ZOlt‘Xi
The comic world's newest hereine has her work cut out. Not just With battling sinister technology-abusing corporations. but to get past the Jazz mag fantasy anatomy she has been attributed. Elsewhere. this has never stopped Lara Croft. and on the positive Side Bazooka Ju/es blends Love And Rockets engrossing. domestic narratives With Jamie “Tank Girl' Hewlett's graphic chunkiness. To its detriment. the over-used Buffy The Vampire Slayer cliches creep in from the off. The twin plot lines introducmg Jules and spy-Cum-road warrior Eddie Daytona are cute. the artwork respectable and the humOur dry and sharp. Here's hoping the comic. one of three from new UK publisher comx. develops beyond Jules' already unrealistically inflated bosoms.
CRIME SUPER HERO POWERS: WHO KILLED RETRO GIRL?
Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Avon Oeming and Pat Garrahy (Image) 000.
Who Kill-«I Ron" (.iﬂ’
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WNEIIIIIWI? Z. wiiiiimml; PIIBIIIIM‘I
Bendis' tone is crime stories — see his superb true crime graphic novel.
Tons». P.‘.'.e's ls .1 ll‘tiltlt’?’ "M835". :lt'. " d model" Amt" c that's :ici‘uiatet s..pe«p>v. indiulduais. I ke A}.th Moore's |(‘«f)f‘ittt‘ldf1’.'t‘ f‘f’t) ll.'i5.'\‘f"“:.‘". T'Tt‘ﬁt“ E§LIIT(?l-I7.)‘.'.'t‘lt7.I characteis aie'i't black and ‘.‘.’flli(: heroes dl‘itl villains — the, "re all threatening. Unlike MOOre's classic. the characters remain shadowy background figures to the police investigation. The artwork. which draws on film noir llllilf)(fl\. is atmospheric, while Bendis' storytelling. both Via frame breakdown and raxoi- sharp dialogue. never falters. This book collects the first six ssues of the ongoing comic and includes a lengthy appendix of new material. (Miles Holden
SCI H IANIASY PUNCTURE NO 1 Russell Uttley and Ben Oliver (comx) 000
Another new title from comx. who seem determined to match the American big boys in style and content. Puncture is stylistically similar to Frank Miller with harsh lines. Jagged edges and perpetual darkness from artist Oliver. The story also shares traits with Miller's Sin City crossed With 2000AD's S/aine. the action taking place
across two time periods.
hinting at an anCient mythology that resonates even in today's urban Cityscapes. Dark and brooding. this first of a twelve-iSSue run certainly ups the intrigue and draws yOu in. but is hampered by perhaps leaWRngOlﬂUCh unsaid.
RAZORJACK NO 1 John Higgins x CO
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For its third debuting title, comx has ser‘iiied neteran ."(lt‘tl-IN artist .J< >l‘.ii I liggins coup for the young
contenders to the Manel [)(Z (ilt)‘.‘.’ll. Unfortunater this \.iolent. dimension spanning tale, Written and illustiated Il‘l, Higgins. is tininspiied stuff. featuring <:ieations ‘.‘.’II|(ZlI first appeared in lliggins' giaptiic novel of the same name. Hflz'UI/dek concerns a [JT;‘\,’(III()II(Z (If?ll".)l‘.t?f»i. intent on ill‘.’£I(IlIlfI the Core [)iiiiension ilaitli.. Only a (:ouple of tough stieet‘xxise cops can stop her. Iliggiiis' imagination doesn't produce anything beyond erotic hoiioi fantasies babes. bondage and iitaitiai arts 7 now long gone stale. The storytellings nothing to ‘.‘.’I'li(} Il()ll‘ff about either.
Black Hole No 8 (Fantagrai)hics) Adolescence explodes into adulthoer in the 'sex issue of Charles Biirns' dark draiiia. Jimmy Corrigan (Faritagraphicsi 380 page hardcover anthology of the humorous and eccentric ACME Nove/tv Lrbrar y character.
Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron iFantagraphics. Breakthrough hit graphic novel from Dan Clout/es of Ghost Wor/o' fame. Louis Riel No 6 (Drawn 8‘ Quarterly. Chester Brown's history of Victorian Canada. in comics.
Stray Bullets Volume 4 El Capitan) Fourth collection of Dawd Lapham's heir-style crime drama.
All titles available on import: prices vary.
2‘) Aer—ff, Ma, THE LIST 109