make this a domestic thriller which is never a chore. (Mark Robertson)

SOCIAL COMEDY NICK HORNBY How To Be Good (Penguin $26.99) 000

Militating against the enjOyment of Nick i—Iornby‘s bestseller is the thought that its lead characters would best be played by Felicrty Kendal and Richard Briers. For all the author's interest in social responsibility if you want to be good. he asks. just how good can you be? the overall impact is something COSy. twee and not a little reactionary.

YOU can see why Hornby is Such a hit with the buying public. His writing is breezily entertaining and his Subject matter the emotional turmoil of thirtysomething angst has all the delicious appeal of an upmarket problem page.

This story of a doctor whose affair sends her husband on a journey of new age rediscovery is enjoyable enOugh. but you wish Hornby had set the stakes higher. His apparent message that to solve yOur midlife Crisis and worries about the world. yOu should just muddle on and not think abOut it too much is as unsatisfying as it is unambitious.

(Mark Fisher)


Jane Stevenson The Pretender (Jonathan Cape £76.99) 17th cen- tury drama set in London and Barbados. Michael J. Fox Lucky Man: A Memoir (Ehury Press f‘7699) Schmaltz- free stOry of the actor's struggle with Parkinson's.

Noel Coward The Lvrrcs Of Noel Coward (fl/fethueri £79.99) 250 songs by acclaimed songwriter. actor. direc- tor and all-round wag.

Kathleen Jamie fvfr And

(VI/'8 Scotland Are Dead (Bloodaxe 5‘8. 95/ Collection from Fife-- based poet spanning 1980—94.

Benjamin Anastas The Faithful Narrative Of A Pastor's Drsappearar ice (Picador 5‘1499) Satire on adultery. religion and real estate.


SUPERHERO CLA$$WAR N01 Rob Williams and Trevor Hairsine (ComX) OOO

In the wake of I 1 September (how many times have you heard that phrase this year?) the comic world reacted to the terrorist actions in various ways. some patroaning. some rnovrng. C/aSSwt’rr takes a bunch of mutant superheroes and unveils what happens when the (:OnSCience of those beasts created for war comes into play. The superhero. like the world superpower, has become a vulnerable and questionable entity. Despite a slightly clunky opening salvo. this has real potential. Sure. the ruthless US president rs as 2-D as. well. Dubya Bush. but the superhero uprising makes for a tumultuous entre. iMark Robertsoni


Marcelo Frusin (DC Vertigo) 00.

Don't get me wrong. I like twisted comics as much as the next freak but the continued adventures of sarf Londoner John Constantine. the 'hard- drinking. hard-smoking master of bad luck magic'. are really quite dark indeed.


( .


Fresh out of chokey. Constantine. aka Hellblazer. hitches a ride to Doglick. West Virginia to make amends '.'.’Illl the family of the man whose death he did lill‘C for. Hence the "good intentions" of the title. It wouldn't be Ht-J/lbi’a/ei' though if Constantine didn't enCOunter some of the weirdest shit there is along the ‘.'.iay. Bestiality beasts eating babies and good old fashioned rape are just some of He treats in store.

(Catherine Br()llll(3\,i


KRAZY & IGNATZ George Herriman iFantagraphicSr I...

Forget Tom. Jerry and Butch, George Herriman was telling tales on humanity With a kat. mouse and dog back in the day called 192:"). These 88W Sunday ‘funnies' reprints are. on the surface. blockhead narratives. But when Ignat/ mouse throws his ever-ready brick at Kra/y Kat's head orin to end up on the receivrng end of Offisa Pup's retributive truncheon. it might



signify the complex relation between anarchy. democracy and fascism. Or it might be simple. dumb. cool beans fun.

This collection has plenty of background material on the man considered by many to be one of the medium's greatest artists. It's also handsomely designed by Chris Ware. whose guarterly ACME Novelty Library pays homage to Herriman's krazy kind of cartoonery. iMrIeS Fielderr


Alex Ross and Paul Dini (DO 0...


Alex Ross is easily one of the most impressive artists in the industry. Comics he has worked on Marve/s. Kingdom Come are held up as iandmarks in the Superhero genre. Ross‘ use of life models and fully painted pages bring these fantastical events crashing into Our reality.

This is the tOurth in a series of prose-style ras opposed to speech ballooni collaborations wrth writer Paul Dini, looking at DC's most iconic figures and their relationships With us mere mortals Batman. Superman and Sha/am have already had similar treatmentsr. Drni treads that fine line between schmalt/ and sensitivin perfectly. and the art really is jaw dropping. (Henry Northmorei

ls Krazy 8. Ignatz social satire or slapstick cartoon?



ECLECTICA CORNERSHOP Handcream For A Generation

(wrirj‘a) coco

It's been five years since Tjinder and Ben last came together under the banner of Corneishop but it's obviously been time well spent.

‘Heavy Soup' drags US SOLll legend Otis Clay Out to open the album With a thumping brass band funk number. 'Staging The Plaguirig Of The Raised Piatlorrn' proves Tjinder and co. are the only people capable of using a chi'd ChOr'us in a song and making it sound cool. Lessons Learned...’ is a sweet homage to George Clinton and tize 1/1 minute "Spectral Mornings' with Noel Gallagher on lead guitar is a furious fusion of Spacey funk and rock. A Strange and beautiful return to the Ieftfield. (Paul Dalei



A Word In Your Ear (TWISle Newer 00..

Alfie are a punk band. Well. lead singer l ee Gorton say s they are. I~towe\.er'. the new album finds them partial to a sweetly sung melody and filled with more sunshine than Johnny Rotten has seen in his 352 years on earth. the nearest we get to a sneer is Oorton's Trrn Burgess-like twang over the delicate gi irtars of the title track. and a less threatening 'll(‘,‘£t\y irioment' than the trumpet and cello ridden rock out ending of "Bends for i"? l.‘.r|e:‘ ii; unkvoxzn to man or

In fact Alfie make

2:5 Mar

Illiétg'lléiliu/E} Fran \.'.' >'tliy harmonies Suitable for soothii‘g. Lie track. (‘lljfiy and don't liste'i to a word they say.

iCzirrrilla Pia)


COLIN STEELE Twilight Dreams (Caber lvTLiS'cr .000

C’Flll‘. Steele's Ii)" j- ét‘.‘/étll(fil ()li‘illfll debut albiirr: as a lea/fer leans very firmly to the Ill/7 rather than funk side (if

his iriiisi<;. and is particularly riot-able. for the (l'lZilil) of iris t,C)ll‘il)’)"llltj.’l‘s. often a'i Achilles free' ~ii jTV/ these day 5.

Cali; has assei: bird a suit-Oil) hand for tie disc. \.'.' ill saxrfir "were? Jiil'a'i ,i'xrgjtiel'ri'; ; "i'r‘g a lli‘yll‘illi f;“-(;t":7‘. (\f l‘:‘:. 'l t.‘i|'~j'iii (213%) a'si.) ariarzge'l the If‘71l(?-':itll

on pier“). Hi :i'i S'i'e": e'

hass. arid diuirzriiiw Joliri liae. ll‘e trumpeter ( ';'.-::v':; a \ziiriéty of str'v’“; 'r'. tl'i:

course of the d sc. ‘.'..tii (3“.e't fi‘.i1(illfli;lftf~‘3" ":l iiii‘3iie'.~:‘i;-f; e'r.ei.jit'tj here and tlii='-f>_ aid pays tribute to his 'Or‘g residence at (Vile (Siaf‘li \‘."ill‘ a:‘ (?"‘(liilll f'zri“_t'-\

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DJ LOGIC The Anomaly ll‘l(1l)(?£ifl"j‘f‘ ii‘y'w’ci 0...

Project Logic (Rejiezidi‘i‘e r'x’t'vol COO

Vail-trim; a lt'tll‘r‘.‘. re. 41. turntali'e under eriiyii aim. I,‘et\.'.een the \.'.;"'d': of [‘Illlfll hip hop (lOt‘IEI‘. :ig ar‘d n‘ixel .Ij‘ ftiiiit‘ii jiv/ ftiiik, [.‘.l l (‘f}'(: |‘§51’.‘ll“";l."»"r (:eitairi to inspire a sense of ( L)"§ll)t.".li'f)li. His; 1999 US release / ‘rc-iig‘ ft‘git~ is a fir“; st'ir‘ijl di ‘.'.ll :iffiir. the "ore tl-ri of I rid"; liarsst lt'e'. ii (-‘rililii; (lie tii‘ l3(\"'ii‘; Rariil firnei :iriil diiiiri (tl"l‘1“' fll"‘t‘lii \.'.":ii:‘<*' fiaiizixi (wit 5:2‘ 1' i‘ti. se'i':"g ti'u' in" tl‘. ‘-.r’.< tire.»

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If \r ' THE LIST 105