Michael Moorcock is a dangerous writer. Read more than one of the short stories in this dazzling collection and you risk being disappointed by any future writer you care to sample. He's that good. Good enough to be counted in the company of De Ouincey. Dickens. Defoe and Woolf because in common with these authors. Moorcock pours living. breathing histOry into his worldly- wise characters and his ancient locations.
Very much concerned with history and our crass contemporary appropriation of it. Moorcock shares several characteristics with the old establishment ﬁgures he so painstakingly observes. Like them. he can often seem convoluted and hard to follow but nonetheless utterly fascinating in the sense of having lived and understood so much. The reader is in awe not only of the eccentric characters encountered in these stories but also of the sheer depth of the intellect capable of rendering them so clearly. (Catherine Bromley)
TRUE CRIME CATHY SCOTT The Notorious B.|.G.: The Murder Of Biggie Smalls (Plexus £9.99) OOO
The hip hop world mourned when in the space of twelve months. two of its leading lights were slain in two separate gangland style assassinations. Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur were in their mid-20s and at the peaks of their careers when they caught the killer's bullet; the murderers in both cases were never found.
This is the successor to Cathy Scott's first book The Killing Of Tupac Shakur and follows a similar format investigating the Circumstances surrounding Smalls' death. Although Scott's research is thorough and has testimony from almost all the major parties involved. this reads like an extended
5 news report: unsurprising due to her
journalistic background. But some shockingly
I sloppy editing and a
rather dry. uninvolved writing style detracts from the breadth of information on display. The background and
i details may intrigue fans
of the man and his music but the casual
reader may find this hard
going. (Mark Robertson)
Shameless (Abacus $29.99) 0000
From the editor of Time Out's gay section comes a novel about Martin, a
5 32-year-old man,
dumped by his long- term partner and finding himself forced to rejoin the world of singledom. Accompanied by a posse of shameless friends. including career woman Caroline. trolley dolly John and a hippie. pot-smoking dad. he adapts to his change in circumstances with aplomb. Against the background of London's gay scene — from Soho‘s
; Old Compton Street to
' clubs like Heaven and
the Fridge via the YMCA gym - it explores life beyond the pumped-up bodies and music.
A cross between Tales Of The City and Queer As Folk. this is full of humane. fallible characters. dramatic situations and wry one- liners. Even though it doesn't quite dig deep enough. Shameless is a truthful depiction of a drug-fuelled. body- conscious world where it is easier to connect romantically over the internet than face-to- face. (John Binnie)
CRIME AUTOBIOGRAPHY MARK BRANDON READ
Chopper (John Blake £15.99) 000
Legend has long been fond of the honourable criminal: Robin Hood. Ned Kelly. Dick Turpin. All of them broke laws we still adhere to today. in the name of something ‘good'. Mark Brandon Read aka Chopper. clearly sees himself out from that same cloth. “To the human filth l have bashed. belted. iron barred. axed. shot.
, stabbed. knee-capped. ; set on fire and driven to Q their graves . . . I regret nothing.‘ The 'filth'
E Chopper so cheerin destroys are pimps. drug dealers. thieves. robbers and other asserted felons. Which presumably makes it all pretty dandy. then.
In this first UK publication of the autobiography which inspired the film and made him a star in his Australian homeland. Read trots dully through his life. and many instances of near-death. with a hangman's wit. As gory as it is repetitive (clearly no editor in their right mind would ask for a rewrite). most human folly is in here. from descriptions of burning feet to playing Russian Roulette. Perhaps only machismo Australia could hold such a thug so close to its heart. (Brian Donaldson)
Paul Britton Picking Up The Pieces (Corgi £6.99) UK's leading forensic psychologist discusses his methods. Jonathan Power Like Water On Stone (Allen Lane £12.99) The histOry of Amnesty Internationals success in the fight for human rights. Rose Collis Colonel Barker '3 Monstrous Regiment (Virago £17.99) True stories from the 19203 about women pretending to be men. Ma Jian Red Dust (Chatto 8. Windus £12.99) Story of one man's t0rtuous journey to Tibet. John Edwards & Perry Ogden 7 Reece Mews: Francis Bacon '3 Studio (Thames & Hudson £14.95) Lavish photo— book of the chaos in the legendary artist's I workspace.
COMEDY DRAMA GHOST WORLD Daniel CIowes (Fantagraphics) 00m
We know its no fun being
L young but Daniel CIowes
proves that life doesn‘t
have to be an edition of
Dawson's Creek in this thoughtfully hewn graphic
novel. Friends Enid and
Rebecca are facing the
imminent hardships and
responsibilities of adulthood. These two
extremely well sketched (in both senses of the
f word) characters grow up. experiencing the
mundane. ridiculous and
traumatic on an almost
daily basis. Ghost World . is touching. funny and
extremely biting in all the right places. and with the
film version starring Thora ‘American Beauty' Birch imminent. Clowes' genius
is only now being fully
realised. (Mark Robertson)
, OONOUEROR WORM
f Mike Mignola (Dark ; Horse) mo
Mike Mignola sends his hell-spawned supernatural detective out on his seventeenth
mission in this new four- part tale. It's Mignola's
usual knowing mix of
f horror mythology. secret 5 history and B-movie
heroics. and this strange brew revolves around a World War II Nazi space
: programme and a rocket
i returning to Earth 61
years after its launch.
Mignola's been refining
his much copied artwork. pairing down his expreSSiOiiist film iiOii
style to what it; essential to tell the story iii j)IllII£tlll\ Visual terms. leCWlSt?
minimal. the script
prOVides jokes and Ill-thlf; Of information, some j relevant Others tangential.
such as the late of 150s pulp hero Lobster Johnson. aka 'The Claw'. Too much. (Miles; Fieldeii
COMEDY ANTHOLOCY NORTHERN
LIGHTZ NO. 4
Various (Under The
COunter Culture Coriiixl .0.
’ An anthology of
marijuana-related comic strips from Scottish label
Under The COuriter
Culture Comix. Half the content is made up of
dope-addled parodies —
(Te/etubbies). ‘Spliff Warz' (Star Warsi — packed Wltll
puns relating to hash.
weed. skinning up and all manner of drug abuse. The rest coriSists of original stoner stories
Thora Birch in Ghost World the movie
5 M AND TWITCH: BOOK ONE UDAKU
Brian Michael Bendis. Angel Medina. Jonathan Glapion In t :-
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.r‘ 7/ ' THE LIST 105