saw 5"» z NANCY LEE Dead Girls

ll al,e' E ‘L’ O...

l'te ’.‘.’,'|‘:’, f a': nutter lla' tee”, ’1‘:t,.. (.Oll‘:’.'.i’,' 5:": r‘:’}£:'r'. ’jlllif:tlf.’; l‘:.'.‘::’.

Slirrnrr e' ' “I; ’.’ ".51": pier. ‘,i’.'i .'l’l‘:' "e' unsentirrenfar e,e. he' tales read EM: a 2 ea" cu’. .‘.'Ith t"; space tn' sal.e “)l etrtliell!‘.""r‘e"'.

Ibl‘f IIII‘.‘ l)’.llr" (“KY/Htr‘flu

a Ch! r'”; ‘.v‘_.ia‘.t’," u‘ a mothe' and father .'.'arting I." él'l(§.i|‘," "I new, cf t’:e' n. (laugl'ter A serlai k. H has been r'lurde'tng the lecal hookers and the.'

girl hasn't l>ee" see"

This. though. is the mere shadov.’ casting a sinister gloom in the l)£l(1kt]l'()llll(l'.'.’|lll l< st; etched out in the cold hr'eakdonz'n ot the parents' relationship.

'Valentines' takes art unflinching look at three teenagers 7 two boys and a girl * on 1-2 February: the girl's hoylnend makes a deal for her to take his friends ntrgrntty for $20. The feelings at the end of the transaction are both erotic and emptx. Nancy Lee's words will cut you don" .vithout mercy And you'll 'o‘v.e .t. :l‘Tuth l-ledgesi

lil.»\t3l\’t7()l\1l’l)\/ NICK WALKER Helloland

rRe\'Ie‘.'. E‘ l 0.0

With this follow-up to his huger acclaimed dehut. Black Box. Nick \‘t’alker prox es that he's clearl\ ()t the Opinion that it it ain't broke don't fix it. Hel/o/and is another fast- paced. wellstructured black comedx about an ensemble of ‘.‘.Cll‘(l characters linked by a possmly tragic exent. The central Character is Chip. a one-armed hotel



.'.“.’,"l/;a'rl operator. a"" meet“) fake r,la':e :" a”: a”...'”t his note; "anLens 3'. Le new a space fsl"..ttle Em;- ffl‘ .a.."‘:;l" <2a,. The storfi. is 'e‘.~::aler: "":st, it"dugl‘ {glove ’10."‘.’t:lSilfltfltfi. {lining a strartgel, dislocated teel to p'ortee’lngs. f;(3'1l(?Tl‘.i'l:l'élT'ltr' oil.u:;.s.. wear! as a l'l(:léll)"’." d,st‘unr;tr(>r‘ of Ch t) and

"is equallj, lost {tr‘tl

11' the lonel‘.

confused fellow Characters.

All this 5; c'chestrated '.'.'el' l)‘, \‘Jalke'. txut there :s a slight a=.' :," snug gimmickr‘. to the author‘s; :ieadpa!‘

tta‘ogue. and ulfrrnatelw, the ::."a'a;'te"s are a little too cartoontsh to Ilt‘.(}f;l .n. Drug Johnstone

i Ill RAIN ORAL/tit PAT BARKER Double Vision 'Héllllli3ll Hamilton S‘lt3.E)E)t 000.

Booker '.'."nner Pat Barker has (30115383?le turned her curiosity to the darker aspects at human mores. poetical]; unprcktng the psychologrcal peculiarities that drtxe people together or keep them apart.

Her latest nox'el opens amid echoes of her Regerter'.'tfon Trilogy. ‘3;th (Erstwhrle ‘.'.ar reperter Stephen Sharkey. "toning to a rural retreat i" t te norm

0t England r-" an atte'ttt.‘t

ALEXEISAYLE Overtaken ‘:(,'."'f '-1 H C...

When the news comes trembling over the wires that yet another comedian has written a work of fiction, the reviewer's heart starts slowly sinking wearily in the direction of their toenails. Mercifully, Alexei Sayle (that graduate of the 19805 school of ‘alternative' funny guys who proselytised surreally while adorned in a suit two sizes too small for him) was never, as the self- styled ‘fat bastard' writes, one of those comedians who bored us with ‘banal insights into the human condition‘.

What's immediately endearing about Sayle’s debut novel is its gleeful sending up of that increasingly irritating sub-genre of contemporary fiction, in which some wisecracking, thirtysomething protagonist is discovered merrily talking shite with his or her circle of quirkin dysfunctional mates. Sayle's Kelvin is 33, a Scouse property developer whose enduring closeness to his five best friends has meant an arrested development beyond his late teenage years. lnevitably. the friends each represent some ethnic/gender category, albeit deliberately crudely, from tall black man to ginger Jew, from spiky blonde to

petite brunette.

At first the plot seems to involve a series of slightly offbeat adventures, including a memorable visit to the eerie, Eastern European ‘CirKuss’. But then Sayle brings these chummy distractions to an unceremonious end, courtesy of a pathologically careless truck driver. The author uses the aftermath of this shocking turning point to make some salient points about redemption and the transient nature of friendship. But it‘s Sayle‘s characteristic subversive wit and vivid, colourful narration that make Overtaken a pleasure to whizz through. (Allan Radcliffe)

to exorcise haunfr‘g memories of his most recent ; t;f;'_;"ltt(}.'ll ll‘ Afghanrst; n. That trip had resulted ll‘ the death o‘ his close colleague. Ben Frohisher. Stephen strikes up a tentative fHOllClSllll) wrtl‘ Ben's ‘.'.’l(l()‘.'.’. Kate. an artist recovering from a f3()f'()llE$ (Lilf zit (Zl(l(}llT. ‘,‘.'lt()f;() latest creative attempt is disrupted t), the disturbed “(Ellél’ulUUT of her assistant. Peter \‘Jrngraxe

Completing this (l‘:.f§ltlll(ill()'l€ll (tuarte‘. is Justine. ortttle hegond he" ,oanc ,ears. with '.'.'l‘o'rt Stephen. (llllel‘; becomes I.’“.()l‘.(?(l. As, ever. Barker uses these relationships to subtly. :eftlg, reneal the s in which he" charact :rs; exercome then dernons. out of sheer nesesslt; as much as desire.

'Allan Radcl:tte. EWEN

Who Sleeps with Katz Granta 91.1.99 0...

From the opening tirade against 'Yalres' taking over Nev. YOrk

we are catapulted into MacK’s strearn of (Z().'lf§(;;()llf;l‘r :ss "an? ‘.'.’l‘l(;ll doesn't let up for the rlurat‘on. ()n the day; MacK 'lrst;o'.ers that his lung cancer If;

rncurah'e. l‘e arranges to meet his “lend. Isidor. then goes on a long. r(warniscent ‘.'.'alk around Nev." York. hoping to {jilllxnlli the one Cigarette that killed him.

MacK's life slur, is al1outfor;d, .'.o"ten and the guest for the perfect Mart l'» are recalled tl.-:;ta"rerl

exc;r'sro't tr: Nerfl‘

California. he {ill/l ls

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I 11.)." | \;\A, ('F


An offbeat adventure with a twist

a TI()(.'Kl<'l|l strainer: 'At that 'rwnnent Mark realised thegn//letl man had no ulea .'.'h, il‘tr,.'."l‘:l.1.,|l‘_l'l" and .er'rroufl‘ at the same tune ‘t'.’r.‘.tert as it MacK in 'nuttennrt lli A,’)t.'l vrélt. film. is a .e'. tunrn. rte." .rnearvl "tr;'.tn<_; f'ttmte :zle and trierirlf."rii/. anchored trr'nl, :" Hex.

York r/‘xnna Shit/Man



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/ - THE LIST 115