FILM ESSAYS JACK HUNTER (ED)
The Bad Mirror lCreation €995,- O.
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This compilation of essays taken from the 19 other books in the Creation series is. according to Jack Hunter. ‘a whole which is conSiderably larger than the mere sum of its parts'. But the great strength of the Creation books is their unearthing of rare material.
Books like Killing for Culture. l‘an illustrated history of death film from mondo to snuff, offer us detailed accounts of 'mondo' films from filmmakers such as Richard Kern, Nick Zedd and Beth B. Much of the info here is easy to find elsewhere. with the book getting bogged down :n plot descriptions of already well-known films and production histories that WI” seem deia vu to anybody who knows exploitation cinema.
Maybe aptly for a book focusmg mainly on exploitation. this smacks of cashing-in on a fine series. TTony McKibbini
ART DEBATE ANTHONY JULIUS Transgressions rrhames at Hudson €24.95; 0...
This bold. intellectually challenging work began life in 1997 when Anthony Julius was commissiOned to write an article for the New Statesman about arts censorship in that year. This was the time of Cronenberg's Crash. AM Holmes“ novel abOut
paedopniiia. The End of Alice. the Prodigy's 'Sinack My Bitch Up' and Sensation.
Julius' somewhat surprising summation was that 1997 ‘had been rather better for the cause of artistic freedom than it had been for art itself'. From here Julius began work on developing the theOhy that throughout histOry the transgressions and travesties taken against an have aChieved little.
A‘ tn's may sound rather reactionary but Ju as s such. an nteiigent and empathe: c wrter that ns persuaswe arguments OJ" through the ipera alcoves o" the cortex as he brave y d sman: es accepted notons of rebe. art from Duchamp to Serrano. An excelient aOOIIiO" to any art ‘cve's ’iprany. Pau‘ Daie
CRIME DRAMA ANTHONY BOURDAIN Bobby Gold 'Canongate €6.99i OOOO
Bll Iii tinin
I finish off Bobby Gold over a steak in Les Halles. the New York City restaurant run by chef and sometime Crime writer Anthony BOurdain. The beef tastes good and the book slides down like a shot of Maker's Mark.
Having spent his early years in the slammer. Bobby Gold graduates With criminal honOurs becoming a New York wiseguy's top henchman. But haying to break the arm of an old man Bobby knew as a kid — he's late with his protection payments — is the final straw. Ot opurse. leavmg the life of crime ain't no easy matter. Reading BOurdain's book. however is.
At 120 pages it's a slim slice of gangland crime drama. but BOurdain's got a handle on no-
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nonsense stOrytelling. oddball characters and offbeat dialogue that w0uIdn't be 0th of place in an Elmore Leonard tale. Maybe Quentin Tarantino wilt make the film of the book. Jackie Brown Bobby Gold. Geddit’? iMiles Fielderi
SCIENCE THRILLEH MICHA CRICHTON
'HarperCollins £17.99 0..
As the creatOr of Jurassic Park and co- producer of EB. Michael Crichton was a lT‘aJOT Cultural player in the 1990s. He wasn't necessarily i'xeicoii‘ed by the chs. tthlgt‘I Martin Amis ‘amously tOre into The Lost World's unimagihative use of language.
Prey follows the classic Crichton piueprint: SCIentIStS think they can play God. realise they can't. but human Ingentilty ‘prooabiyi saves the day. It's a bit like Frankenstein. only not quite as pessimistic and not nearly as good. While he may fall short On literary criteria. Cncnton is a master at working cutting edge science into blood- pulsing thriilers.
Prey sets concerned dad Jack FOrman against his ambitiOus wife and a greedy nanotechnology company. He's soon fighting evolwng bacterial cyborg insect beasts in the Nevada desert and mastering the arts of monOSyllabic communication. it doesn‘t all make sense. but it's still good clean fun. lJames Smarti
CULTURAL STUDIES GEOFF KING &
(EDS) ScreenPlay lV‘/allflov-/er €14.99i .0.
As the original gaming generation gets pot
be!lied and prone to intelleCtLIalISIng we're likely to see Increasmg numbers of books like this. SCreenP/ay: Cinema/
Video games/m terraces . to give it its ii‘aXImum— verbosity title. is a collection of essays exploring computer
games and their connections to film and other media. At times it's du' that's geeks fer youi and herbically ,r'pose there's academics for yotit but there's stili some fascinatng insights on offer.
Highlights include Geoff King pondering the roie o‘ narrative. spectacle and stress ih the Die Hard Tl'llOQj/. Diane Carr sett'ng Lara Croft's ‘sex-dol' proponions' against her ‘expiictiy sadistic and penetratwe appetites and Rau Ward posmng t. .at coherent worlds are more important than realistic ones.
But why are these self- confesseo fanatics '.'.’ritihg essays when they COUIC} be ‘i'rorktng put Croft's speCiaI it‘oves. tnying to pull off 360 grab tricks Or taking Cox-idenbeath to the Champions League Final? iJames Smart,
ROMANTIC COMEDY RAFFAELLA BARKER
Green Grass iReView E1 OI O
There's no doubt a massive market for this kind of feelgood romantic comedy novel. but that doesn't stoo Green Grass being a partiCuIarly amateurish piece of guff to read. WhImSIcal Storylines and flighty characters needn't necessarily be carved out of hideous cliche. but they are here.
Laura Sale has a successfui modern artist. Inigo. ‘or a huSpand. a man both emotionally immature
and demanding. They have two kids. live In nonin LOndon and Laura looks after them all. teeitng she doesnt have a .‘f8 0‘ her own. Then she has a chance meeting with an old flame. gets offered the lease 0‘ a Norfolk
Otlntry CC ttage. blah. plan, ..fe thrown into turmo 3. blah. Clah. has to choose. blah. blah: \y’Ocl get the picture.
With cringewortny dialogue. paper-thin characters. hapess twists and no narrative dr've u-i'natsoever. Green Grass is not worth. lﬂ\/eStl".g time or money .n. iDOug Johnstonei
EXPERlMENTAL TALE KEITH MORTON Joined Up Thinking and the Importance of Hair
iLinear B 912 O
JOINED UP AND THE
Expermentai t'Cthl't can sometimes be hard ‘.'~.’O"r<. but is often equally as rewarding. Not this t me. In Jet/ted Up Thinking. . .. Edinburgh-based poet and novelist Keith Morton examines the Iives and work of a fictional 80s pop star. Prescott Darkling and his lover. DOlores Crest. There purports to be three things contained herein, namely a novei by Crest biographer Darkling. a novella by Darkling and its accompanying preface. The first of these is a rambling, amateurish shambies. tne seCOnd is James Joyce-meets- lrvine Welsh. stream of consciousness. drunken and pentDOLIs ptib cnat.
and the third is a spoof examination of the nature of art and fiction. ALl three are virtually unreadable. and are so pretentious. gimmicky and relentlessiy irritating that they make yOLi want to take a Zippo lighter to the whole damn th:ng. When. is probably the post-ironic point. But it's aiso point;ess. Tediously and monumentaliy pointless. i’DOug Jonnstonei
ESSAY COLLEC ICN ARUNDHATI ROY The Algebra of Infinite Justice iFlamingo €8.99 0...
Arundhat. Roy had th wOrid at her feet after winning the Booker for The God of Small Things. She however took the rare step ot’ putting her money where her pen was and began campaigning for human rights. being noticeably against proposed Indian dam protects and her country's pro-nuclear stance.
The Algebra of /nfinite Justice is a collection of eight essays written between July 1998 and October OCt air of which have appeared In newspapers and JOUmalS arctino t'ne worid. Gathered together in One collection they are an eXoLiISIte. troubmg Joy.
In his excellent ‘oreword John Berger r ghtiy places Roy's writings at the heart 0‘ a passi0nate movement of great modern DOIGHNC'SIS. Exuding tender alarm ano exasperation. her writing seido'“ drops a taise sent men: or a shallow Vlbe. Eacn one of these essays is wonh reading btit ‘Tne End of Imagination and ‘The Ladies have Feelings So
.' are erudite and heartbreakng masterpieces. iPatil Dale: