LITERARY DRAMA WILLIAM WALL The Map of Tenderness (Sceptre 5:14.99) 0..
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This thoughtful but slightly ponderous novel is at times both eloquent and haunting. but lacks the scaffolding of a coherent structure to hold it together properly. Divided into two parts. The Map of Tenderness begins as a fairly conventional examination of love and the relationship between lovers Joe and Suzie.
The book traces the affair of this writer and music teacher in Ireland. from first meeting to committed partners. admittedly in an introspective fashion. But on the news that Joe's mother is gravely ill. the book becomes something entirely different — dealing in mortality. loss and family — and the two threads unravel to leave a slightly unsatisfying conclusion.
While William Wall is ObVIOLlSIy a writer with a natural feel for creating realistic atmospheres. and has an innate knowledge of Irish sensibilities. there just isn't enough to get hold of here to make it anything other than an interesting distraction. (Doug Johnstone)
POETRY TEXTBOOK JAMES FENTON An Introduction to English Poetry (Viking £14.99) 000
It is slightly ironic that this book is being published at the same time that Linton Kwesi Johnson becomes the first black Caribbean poet to see his work immortalised in the Penguin Classics range. For in reading James Fenton's generally thorough introduction to English poetry there is little sense of the ethnographic change
an intro ductlon to cnghs s11 poetry
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that has come over the form in the last 30 years. Where is mention of the very beautiful integration of multicultural languages that has prompted the rise of Dread Beat poetry and perhaps more importantly Slam poetry? That said. this is an invaluable asset to any English literature student or anyone who wants to tell the difference between a trochee and a guatrain. Fenton lays things out with an impresswe economy and he writes with a clarity and sympathy that certainly undermines the patronising passnotes of his forebears. Particularly welcome are his concise chapters. ‘Writing for the Eye' and 'Song' and the glossary is unfussy and accessible. (Paul Dale)
URBAN TALE RICHARD HOUSE Uninvited (Serpents Tail Et O) 000
Ian inhabits a shady London. peopled by characters avoiding each others' eyes. EVicted from his sguat. he sleeps on a friend's sofa and begins work at a gay cycle courier company. But Just under the Surface is a world where people are kicked off the back of buses. or doused With paint stripper. When Ian's friend is found at the bottom of the stairs with a list of names in his pocket. this world
102 THE LIST ‘5 '2’) .JLiii 20f)?
PUNK PHOTOGRAPHY DENNIS MORRIS
Destroy (Creation £17.95) .0.
Just because there are enough willing middle-aged punks to fill a football stadium today to celebrate the spirit of 76 don’t make it a good thing. The Sex Pistols lasted four singles, one album and a little over 24 months and were all the better for it. But while Jubilee fever cools to something no more noteworthy than a common cold, the timely re- releases, retrospectives and re-assessments keep on coming. Destroy is proof you can have too much of a good
This ‘Jubilee edition’ (oh, please) of Dennis Morris’ visual documentary of the Sex Pistols is so familiar in places that it could be family portraits rather than illustrations of a band. There’s no denying Morris had good access to the Pistols as this book collates together pictures from several key events including the ‘God Save the Queen’ launch on the Thames, moments from their first tour and candid shots foretelling the band’s implosion months later.
Choice snaps include John Lydon - quite clearly the
most compelling and stylish of the quartet - at a soundcheck, pith helmet on head, can of Tizer in hand; or he and Sid shovelling down Chinese food from tin cartons on the tour bus, which are juxtaposed with familiar stills from the ‘God Save the Queen’ video. Only svengali Malcolm McLaren is conspicuous by
his absence here.
SEX PISTOLS 1977 BY DENNIS MORRIS
Capturing punk’s excited contusion
Morris captures the atmosphere of excited confusion of the time, but in hoping the photographs create their own narrative, Destroy does little to challenge the myth surrounding the Pistols. A pleasing history lesson nonetheless. (Mark Robertson)
becomes too close for his comfort.
Each section is named after the roof over Ian's head — always somewhere temporary — adding to the sense of rootlessness.
No One actually communicates and. although we meet his sister and childhood friend. we feel that
nobody really knows Ian.
least of all us.
Richard House's attention to detail evokes life on the periphery. Dark without being bleak. Uninvited is strangely mOVing. and the mood stays when the book is Over.
RURAL DRAMA SEBASTIAN BARRY
Annie Dunne (Faber €10.99) .0.
Annie is an old woman. a remnant of the well— bred Dunne family. A minor physical deformity prevents her from
marrying. and she spends the last of her years in the company of her farmer and wise- woman cousin. Sarah Cullen.
Simultaneously a study of the effects of stories and songs of the past and a reflection upon loneliness versus sexuality. Annie Dunne manages to be believable without being sentimental. Our protagonist is a more genuine version of ‘the herOine'; honest. sometimes repulsive. and entirely flawed and. like Annie herself. the novel is not easily accessible. The presence of our heroine's nephew and niece grants a welcome reprieve from the sombre atmosphere as their interesting sexuality is gradually teased Out. and its near tangible presence provides an excellent viewpoint towards the understanding of the rest of the novel.
Annie Dunne is sometimes lacking authorial refinement. often an uncomfortable. unforgivuig read. but nonetheless entirely worthy of the effort. (Rowan Martin)
COMEDY MEMOIR TOM COX
Nice Jumper (Bantam $310.99) 00..
Anyone who has read
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PG Wodehouse's awesome Golf Omnibus WI” know that there are virtually unlimited laughs to be eked from the bunkers and greens of the local links. Tom Cox. thirtysomething former music writer with the Guardian and NME among Others. may seem like an unlikely candidate for an adolescent golfing memoir, but that's exactly what Nice Juniper is. And pretty damn funny it is too. Something of a cathartic. confessional affair. this eaSy read deals With Cox's formative. pre-rock'n'roll years. and is an irreverent and self- (leprecating examination of a misspent youth taking part in monthly medals. sporting Pringle knitwear and dicking around the Pro shop while bunking off school. Throughout it all, Cox's style is easy-geing and affable enough. It's not
exactly deep but if you've always secretly desired a book that mentioned both Nick Faldo and Mudhoney. then Nice Jumper is for you. (DOug Johnstonel
BLACK COMEDY RUARIDH NICOLL
White Male Heart (Black Swan €6.99i OOO
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In the last seven years there have been too many Brzaveheartesgue Scottish stories designed for those who believe that this country is full of kill-wearing descendants of William Wallace. In l/V/i/H,‘ i'i/fa/e Heart Ruaridh Nicoll. through his arienated central characters Hugh and Aaron. corrupts this idea by presenting the natural beauty of the Highlands alongside bleak and brutal images of broken hearts (both literally and fig'iurativelyl.
The book tells the tale of Hugh and Aaron's