DA D SCHICKLER Kissing In Manhattan (ReVIew £9.99) .00..
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Finishing this novel is like reaching the end of a short but intense love affair; you're sorry that it's over. but you feel inspired and moved by the experience. This is a book to throw yourself whole-heartedly into, to become involved in the lives of the characters and to allow yourself to forget it's not real.
Falling somewhere between a novel and a series of shon stories. Kissing In Manhattan comprises eleven interlinked tales. all of which are darkly humorous. romantic. absurd and edgy. Together they create a picture of modern life and love. with all its quirks and complications. David Schickler's insight into the secret lives of everyday peOple shows his understanding of the human condition, and his compassion shines through.
Though you may not want it to end, it leaves you with such an altered state of mind that you can continue the story yourself. An outstanding debut. (Kirsty Knaggs)
CONTEMPORARY DRAMA JOHN KING
White Trash (Jonathan Cape £10) 0000
Hopefully by now. you should be sick of politicians trying to appeal to the youth of today. Outdated drug policies, the Criminal Justice Bill and having a good time in groups of ten or more all play havoc with your Friday night folly. Something John King appears to understand more than any other writer. Featuring Ruby. 8 Clubbing, drugging nurse and Mr Jeffreys, the hospital top dog. and a myriad of bit-peOple. you
slowly get the feeling something isn't right in White Trash land. As Jeffreys' monologues on what is expected of society slowly descend into paranoid rants. Ruby's once stable
mental state also
appears to go downhill. As everyone and everything breaks down, the real characters come to the fore. revealing the true extent of power an individual has against
commentator on modern
Culture is back, with a plot running so close to the bone. it's almost
skeletal. (Aly Burt)
CRIME THRILLER DENISE MINA
Exile (Bantam €5.99)
Once seen as a
decaying port ruled by
razor-gangs, Glasgow is now promoted as a
modern metropolis with business developments and swish bars galore. lt
- is the former Glasgow
that Denise Mina concerns herself with, a
city one would describe
as seamy were that word not so intrinsically
? linked with crime novels that have the clout of a rolled up Record.
The world of Exile (the second novel featuring Mina's bruised heroine
Maureen O'Donnell) is
by contrast a sordid. vicious one in which
solving a crime is not so much a process of redemption as one
whose enlightenment only reveals horror and darkness.
When Anne Harris is found dead on a mattress floating in the Thames. the police are convinced her husband Jimmy is guilty. Maureen is less sure. and heads down to Brixton where she uncovers a nasty web of thugs. serial
abusers and drug smugglers. This is a brutal novel, but it
nevertheless presents a ViVid and emotive portrait of the precarious human condition. (James Smart)
CARIBBEAN DRAMA OONYA
KEMPADOO Tide Running (Picador
Every now and then. an invigorating sea-breeze watts through the
commerCial cogs of the
publishing industry. Oonya Kempadoo's
second novel is one.
contemporary Tobago and blowmg the life back
into our language. Her words bombard with the force of sun and the majesty of waves. and
with the nuances of the
unspoken, with the erotic brush of flesh upon flesh, idea upon desire. The narrative is a barrage of direct images and sensations which require little explanation.
Cliff is a young man, with Nike shaved in the back of his hair. Unbothered by work, he lives between American TV soaps, dreaming of love. Bella is a photographer, living in a big house and married to Peter, a white businessman.
In bed together, all boundaries are broken. Bodies united. there are no differences between the three. But can their illicit passion survive. in this place where tourism politely replaces the old slave-trade?
Ellen Hart Merchant Of Venus (Women's Press $6.99) US crime tale infused with Hollywood
gossip. Stanley Williams 5 Surviving Ga/eras (Little.
Brown $16.99) Read this and stay away from volcanoes forever. Rupert Morgan Something Sacred
(Bantam $29.99) Ben Elton meets Douglas
‘ Adams in satire on
Stephen Barber Tokyo
Vertigo (Creation 21 1.95)
A lyrical and pictorial tour of the ultimate
Mark Bowden Killing Pab/o (Atlantic £16.99) The hunt for Mr Escobar. the biggest drug baron of our times.
SIJPERHERO PARODY THE ATOMICS Mike Allred (AAA Pop COmlCSl O...
A gentle. lovmg parody of the original Marvel titles. particularly The Fantastic Four and The X-Men. This superhero team comprises a group of beatniks who gave up their neurotic outsider lifestyle. adopting (limited) SOCIal TGSDODSIDIIIIy with powers bestowed upon them as a BIOS effect of an alien sex invaSion — these are mutant beatniks. It Girl mimics whatever she most recently came into contact With, while her lover. Metal Man. wears an iron Suit With sonic blasts because he's a metal music fan. see? Groovy. This is the penultimate issue (Allred has been snapped up by Marvel to reinvent X- Force — see below), but the previous thirteen are still available.
NEW X-MEN Grant Morrison and Frank Quiter (Marvel) 0...
When the mainstream media rather patronisineg announced that comics had finally grown up back in the mid-80$. one of the key innovators cited was Glasgow writer Morrison whose really qUIte
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Now. Morrison's performing Slllll'ét’ innovations ml: i/lt'l'“.€: Comics most popular title. And boy (iv: 70," need it. Pre'xioiist,’ stir}. . adolescent fodder. int,- mutant hero arl‘.’erittir'r;s are now benefiting from a stop/line that r<-;-\.’crs;es the mutant Outcasts persecuting homo sapiens scenario In place of endless zap. pow. whack punch [llJTS there's plotting. pact; and characterisation. Al‘fl Tl‘t: artwork. by Glasgow School of Art grad Ourtely. is terrific.
SHORT STORIES SLEEPWALK Adrian Tomine (Drawn 8. Quarterly) .00
SLE E PWALK
This collection feels like the prodding of an open wound in a broken heart: it's a struggle not to Wince at the pain in these
narratines. lt's also beautiful stuff; Tomine "as the rac'ng and "airing of his tragic ""aracters down to perfection. His frail lines sketcr. Out the melancholic world of ,iited lovers. dissatisﬁed teens. angry and sad «is. frustrated parents and confused ‘..'.'ent‘,rsomethings. who all struggle to come to terms With Me and all Its short comings. It's most effective when things get dark and sinister. but can get mired down in the :JEOOll‘i a little; perhaps it's ;..st all too close to home. Mark Robertson)
Peter Milligan and Michael Allred (Marvel) 0...
Marvel really are going out on a limb. getting some of the most far out writers in the business to take over some of their most prestigious titles. Old die-hards are up in arms about the changes. but discerning readers are lapping it up The first thing that hits you is Allred's 503 style pop art. reminiscent of the old Mars Attacks trading cards due to the laShings of ultra Violence. And Milligan's story is equally refreshing; calling a superhero Zeitgeist is a touch of class. Good on ya Man/el. it only other mainstream publishing houses had the chutzpah to take risks like this. (Henry NOrthmore)
Adrian Tomine prods open wounds in Sleepwalk
7—21 Jun 2001 THE LIST 111