PSYCHODRAMA ANDREW MILLER Oxygen (Sceptre £1 4.99) 0”
Alec has not had sex for eleven months and even into his 303, is dependent on his mother's approval. Larry, ex-sportsman. ex-soap actor, coke addict, turns to the porn industry to support himself in the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed. Alice. their mother, is dying of cancer. And Laszlo. homosexual Hungarian playwright. attempts to come to terms with his role in a friend's death 40 years ago.
Everyone is depressed. Larry drinks, Alec cries. Laszlo forces himself to sit at his desk for a few hours daily. Andrew Miller evokes their misery and hopelessness admirably, and to begin with it is both powerful and moving. But the plot inches forward and the variety of woes start to feel like identical middle- class angst.
In striving to make a point about courage, this book neglects narrative, and ultimately its failing is the same as Laszlo's: ‘condemned to be an intellectual'.
COMEDY DRAMA MARC PYE Rewire (Sceptre 212) me
Josh Strachen is a mean-spirited electrician who has a monopoly on
all the work in the local area. His arrogance (he blatantly overcharges and loathes the notion of community spirit) is soon turned into petty hatred when he loses the
biggest contract in town
— the local psychiatric hospital — to a couple of
London electriCIans. but
I this is just the beginning
of his long cold slide into hell. Once his girlfriend and friends have dumped him, he builds an alliance with the local bent copper.
Marc Pye has a wonderful ear for
dialogue, and like his
debut Lollipop, this novel deals with the oppression of isolation and its recumbent idiocies. His style is honed from the very best parts of the great modern Scottish writers; the structure is all Welsh, the perfectly conceived idioms are Kelman and Warner but the anger is all his own. This should be read by anyone who dreams of moving to a craft. (Paul Dale)
DOMESTIC DRAMA DO
All Families Are Psychotic (Flamingo $29.99) me
all Families one pSgChOLIC
Dou las Coup and
They are, aren‘t they?
But Douglas Coupland's
Drummonds are more psychotic than most. Does your family pass HIV between incestuous partners and send child victims of Thalidomide into space? Probably not.
Coupland’s latest thoughts on the state of the planet hang on the members of this crazed family as they gather in Orlando for one-handed
daughter Sarah's space shuttle send-off. Mother
Janet has taken leave of her senses, in a good way, relieving herself at rnatriarchal responsibility. Wade the wayward son
T is jailed for defending
God's honour against a bar-room drunk, while Bryan the suicidally depressed youngest child turns up with a pregnant girlfriend. Shw (that's right, no vowel), who’s ready to abort. Then there's divorced father Ted who abuses his kids with firearms. Pretty fucked up. but the Drummonds endure it not exactly get along despite all. Maybe for Coupland they're EveryFamily. Funny, sharp writing for the age of the exploded domestic unit. (Miles Fielder)
The Devil's Larder (Viking £12.99) 0...
‘lf literature be the food of love. stick some salad cream on that Dickens and pass it here.“ An oft- misauoted phrase which keenly illustrates the intrinsic links between good eating and good writing. Taking this most readily to heart, Jim Crace treats us to a veritable smorgasbord of culinary/literary delights in the form of these 64 individual vignettes. Some are bite-size. others more substantial. and although a few
could have enjoyed a
little fleshing out in places, many benefit
5 from his considered
editing. Crace writes with passion and a slinky
quirkiness which he
sustains throughout this collection of twisted little tales; from the Paris fruit seller duping naive
shapbers into buying
kumquats, to the man celebrating his birthday by spitting grape pips onto passing cars. Peculiar, funny, blunt and sad all at the same time,
‘I this is a Tales Of The Unexpected for the
Nigella Lawson generation. Tasty. (Mark Robertson)
EVENTS AT BORDERS
THURSDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER 7PM
JOHNSTON-E WRITERS’ GROUP
One of Scotland's leading writing groups launches their new anthology,
TUESDAY I ITH SEPTEMBER 5PM
The cooking phenomenon signs copies of his new book, Happy Days With The Naked Chef. Tasty, easy sociable food with the minimum of fuss. Pukkal
TUESDAY I ITH SEPTEMBER 7PM
INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM
Buddhist monk, Kelsang Tharchin, discusses aspects of Buddhism.
WEDNESDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER 7PM
The bestselling author of The Beauty Myth explores the Culture and practices of pregnanCy with ferocity and passion in her new book
THURSDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER 7PM
DISCOVER ICELAND WITH COLIN BAXTER AND ICELANDAIR
Icelandair’s David Sanderson & photographer Colin Baxter discuss the unique charm of Iceland. You will also have the chance to win free flights to this fascinating island. I
THURSDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER 7PM
THEY BELONGED TO GLASGOW
Rudolph Kenna and Ian Sutherland discuss They Belonged To Glasgow, 0 social history recounting the city’s last 250 years through eyewitness accounts.
FRIDAY 2IST SEPTEMBER 5.3OPM
TV super chef signs copies of his new quick, simple cooking guide:
GOURMET EXPRESS 2
THURSDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 7PM
THE SCOTTISH FISHING BOOK
Sandy Forgan gives an illustrated talk based on his comprehensive guide to fishing.
COMING SOON 6TH NOVEMBER
LOUIS DE BERNIERES
98 BUCHANAN STREET, GLASGOW GI 38A
TEL: 014] 222 7700 OPENING HOURS: 8am to I Ipm, Monday to Saturday, IOam to 9pm Sunday www.bordersstores.com/stores/283
‘i‘l‘l THE LIST 101