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ISIERLUIGI COLLINA The Rules of the Game

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Starter for Ten

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Oh no, not another so-called hilarious novel about an immature, feckless, accident-prone male and his stupid problems trying to be accepted by all around him while somehow capturing “the girl‘. On the acne-riddled surface, this is exactly what Starter for Ten appears to be.

Brian is a hapless fool (yeah, thanks Mr Nicholls) on his way to further education with one goal: to get his pizza-like phisog on the telly as part of

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Not preparing his Booker-winning speech any day now

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Opening If) er‘hnes of the (Zoliiniliine riizit;f;zi<trr:. the fllfil segment it; breathleus‘, narrated tit 1/",earrold student Cheryl reflertting on her f;ll()ll UXISTOHCU as; Silt: fillllfi towards; death Cheryl becomes; the innortent poster girl for a high fitill()t)| Slaughter. But

the University Challenge team. Hence the book’s title. But he has the small matter of avoiding the grouchy Glaswegian femmo-commie Rebecca and getting into the affections of his beloved Alice (a younger, blonder Kate Bush). Maybe letting her cheat a way onto the team would be a good start. But what if she nabs his place instead? After that it's one social faux-pas after another campus calamity in the kind of book publishers love to dub, 'riotous'.

It's all terribly latter day Adrian Mole with a hint of Lucky Jim, and initially you just want to chuck the thing across the room. And what of the claim that it’s the ‘funniest novel in years’? Well, not having had much to laugh about in the field of literature since Woody Allen stopped writing surrealist essays, it comes as almost a disappointment to say, yes, this is funny. Bloody funny actually. Will Self will hate it and the Booker judges probably use this kind of novel to cleanse their anus but for a good honest couple of nights‘ leafing, give me David Nicholls over Beryl Bainbridge any day.

(Brian Donaldson)


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l’l tt Hemmer l‘i GUS WYLIE Hebridean Light ‘Birlinn $9.98” .00.

lioni the sun breaking through the clouds to rugged handt; iriiineif;ed in dyeing W()()|. (Sui; Wylie documents; H(3i)ll(l()£lll lite and landscape in this; (l()|l(3(lll()ll of photographs. taken more than two decades; ago. the hook marks Wylie's one venture into colour photography in that region, resulting in a vibrant mix of IlllLthS.

In the SiXLllOll Light. Wylie perfectly captures; what Scotland is; renowned for, The ehange of light from ‘.‘/llll(}l to auturnn pathes; coastal rocks; in a rich, red gloWing hue. Many of the irriages iuxtapose Sllllllaf textures. Shapes. people and COIOUfS. so you get the scales of a freshly caught salmon .‘xrth rippled. Sun» drenched sand; a young fI'llllll‘,’ opposne an old r;r_)uple; the riirwerrtent of gulls hovering in flight 'mth sun on water.

The collection ma/ well serve as a persrmal diary or nostalgia trip for Wylie, but for the Viewer. it reveals the beauty. COIOur and traditions of the Western Isles. (Helen Monaghan;

‘1- Set, 27/: THE LIST 103