MICHAEL MOORE Dude, Where’s My Country?

(Allen Lane S‘. 1 7.99) O...

Moore concocts another riveting tour de farce

Populist radical Bush-whacker, sell-out liberal demagogue, or just that bear of a guy who took the Oscars bowling? It’s likely the author couldn’t give a Moroccan monkey’s (more of which to come) how he’s perceived. His mission - and the tone can indeed be preachy - is to make sense of an ‘increasingly cruel, complicated and empty’ world. Says Moore: ‘It looks like we’ve gone mad . . . We invent color-coded threat charts. We frisk 90-year-olds in wheelchairs. We attack the Bill of Rights? That’ll show those terrorists. Let’s dismantle our way of life so they won’t have to blow it up.’ The answer to all this, if you wish to skip the 217 pages - your loss - is to persuade Oprah to stand for president. Oprah versus Arnie, anyone? Politically improbable, sure, constitutionally impossible, for now, yes, but . . . From the ingeniously dumb title (stupider even than Stupid White Men) and duking it out with Dubya on the cover, to the pledge at the end of the book to donate his fat cat tax cut to having the aforementioned Texan kicked out the White House, Dude is a tour de farce. However, there is some nit-picking to work through. First up, Mike, your grasp of British politics is a little suspect. We cannot, as you suggest in your introduction, ditch our prime minister at any old time. Oh, if only. And quite frankly, your take on Ireland could be filed under really-stupid-things-said-by-fifth-generation-Irish-Americans.

Please try harder.

Also this reader wishes you had said more about such things as the coalition’s use of cluster bombs in Iraq, the machinations of the man behind the Fox Network, and on an altogether crasser level, what did go on behind the scenes at the Academy Awards when you did ‘a


OK, enough churling. There is some wonderful stuff here, superficially knockabout political material, especially the chapters ‘The United States of BOO!’ and ‘How to stop terrorism? Stop being terrorists!’, all underpinned by a heap of research and sources. So while the laughably named Coalition of the Willing went to war against Saddam, their shock and awe campaign sadly not including the services of 2000 bomb disposal monkeys from Morocco, Moore

battles the Big Brother bullshit of the Neo-Cons.

Neither slim nor shady, here is the real M&M. (Rodger Evans)

of mood. emotIon and language Is unbeatable. rnakrng The Ci‘a/id/irot/iei's a simply brilliant display of modern lIterature at Its best.

(Doug Johnstone)


Money to Burn 'Cranta 5712i .0

In 1961') an Argentine gang robbed a bank. krlled several people and escaped to Uruguay wrth a very large sum of money. i'\fl<)/i(>r,/ to Burn

rs the true crime retellrng of that robbery and the subsequent bloody polrce srege. The novel rs preced together from wrtness statements. polrce reports and educated guessx'rork. Whrle the research has clearly been thorough. this makes rt a real chore to wade through.

An rrnagrned conversatron between a schi/ophi'enrc murderer and a young moll segues not so neatly Into the recollectrons of

a psychratrrst who rnteryiewed sard krller before doublrng back to the orrginatron of the plan to rob the bank. The same event rs often retold several times from drfferent perspectrves. whrch detracts from any sense of suspense. However. If you can Wrthstand the meanderrng. you are left Wrth a horrrfyrng TararItrno~esgue adventure. but one In whrch the plottrng and bloodshed are real. (Anna Shrpman)


Neil Gaiman and various (DC Vertigo) OOOO

If ever there was a mum: rn the 90s that set the world talkrng about the riredrurir again rt was Sandman, Nerl Garman's exgursrtery complex gothrc myths. Here he returns to hrs creatron after an all too long hratus. The Immortal Endless Death. Destrriy. Dream. Delrrrurri. Destructron. Despair and Desrre —- each get a chapter terlrng therr own cosmrc tales of ernotron and cataclysmrc events. The yarIOus artrsts brrng a drstrnct personalrty to each tale. exemplrfyrng therr disparat > traits. whrle Garrrran's prose and rntrrrrate knowledge of these characters and fables (re the narratrye Into a rrch coherent whole. (Henry Northritorer



Jill Thompson/ Andrew Fusek Peters & Stephen Player (Trtan Books) 000 (Hodder) O.

Largely responsrble for pennrng the Sandman- related character of Death. Dream's perky Coth srster, Thompson here wrrtes the story of how Hell's bowels are opened and unleashed

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In an alrnrghty house party. Moderately thrrllrng and realised In fine Manga style. It's a drvertrng, rf short read for the spooky Halloween season.

Ed and the Witchh/ood. on the other hand, Isa chrldren's book about bullies and how the sprrrts of the undead can sort ‘em out. Sorry kids. but that's not ever going to happen. 80 best read the Sandman serres instead. Not least so that people can keep making money out of rt. (Catherine Bromley)

THE DARK HORSE BOOK OF HAUNTINGS Scott Allie, Editor (Dark Horse) 0000

To celebrate Halloween. Dark Horse collects this |ovrng|y presented hardback of ghost storres. Haunted houses are the only criteria fOl' inclusion. so vvre get a mixed bag of short stories and prose. Hellboy rs the obvrous


brg hitter and a little beauty It Is an' all. There are no true frrghts. but there are some nice twrsts and a (:Ouple of chills on offer (particularly the Gary Gianni illustrated ‘Perceval Landon' tale). A tantalrsmg compendium In the Ta/es From the Crypt tradition.

(Henry Northmorei


Alisa Kwitney

(Titan Books) 00.



Although there rs already a companron volume to Nerl Garman's Sandman library (wrrtten by Hy Bender). Alrsa Kwrtney's lavrshly Illustrated hardback book rs less a key to understandrng than a primer to the serres and a retrospectrve of its genesis and hIstory. Reprrntrng panels. Gaiman's notes. artrsts' sketches and some of Dave McKean's stunning cover art. Kwrtney once assIstant edrtor' to Garman - delryer‘s the rnsrde skrnny on the Sandman's story wrth a keen wrt and an observant eye. It won't mean much to a reader unfanrrlrar wrth the subtletres of the saga. but for the rnrtrated. It'll look good on the gothrc coffee table and surfany whet the appetrte for the latest Sandman volume. Endless Nights. (Catherrne Bromleyi

I For more New Gaiman see Kids.

Hellboy In The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings

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