Pandoras Handbag: Adventures in the Book World by Elizabeth Young:
Serpents Tail, U.K., 2001
A collection of articles taken from various UK newspapers and magazines over the past ten
years written by the late counter-cultural literary critic Elizabeth Young. Her articles
defending such mainstream writers as Bret Easton Ellis and A.M. Homes, and her intelligent
reviews of avant-garde authors such as Dennis Cooper and Stewart Home are readable,
entertaining and highly insightful. For lovers of cutting-edge fiction, ideas and issues.
Napoleon and Wellington by Andrew Roberts: Weidenfield & Nicolson,
The angle is what the two thought of each other. For example, Wellington had an erotic
picture of Napoleons sister in his bedroom, a naked statue of her famous brother at
the bottom of the stairs, and he seduced two of Napoleons ex-mistresses. Then it
Cogito, Ergo Sum: The Life of René Descartes by Richard Watson: David R.
Scrounging, animal-hating philosopher provides backdrop for Watson and wife, Pat, to tour
Europe; with very readable results.
Crooked River Burning by Mark Winegardner: Harcourt, 2001
What Jonathan Franzen set out to do in The Corrections is nicely accomplished in
this novel, set in mid-20th century Cleveland.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel: Alfred A. Knoph, Canada, 2001
A young Indian boy finds himself on a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific with five
other survivors from a shipwreck: all animals, including a Bengal tiger. An amazing story,
full of high seas "tiger taming" and adventure, with an ending you will never
The Wrong Boy by Willy Russell: Black Swan 2001 (Paperback)
This is so-o-o good. Maybe a bit culturally baffling for those outside the UK and
unfamiliar with the Smiths, but if you liked the movies based on Russells stageplays
Educating Rita or Shirley Valentine you will love his first novel of a
teenage boys letters to Morrissey.
My Little Blue Dress by Bruno Maddox: Viking, 2001
Sant Jordis Day (April 23, aka World Book Day) is basically the Catalan
Valentines day and Maddoxs book is the best love story, so far, of the 21st
Century. It is original and also wonderfully odd.
The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters by Chip Kidd: Scribner 2001; UK
Reviewed this issue. A must for anyone touched by the art/design world.
My Loose Thread by Dennis Cooper: Canongate, UK, 2002
OK, its not available until May, but put your order in on April 23rd. Cooper is at
his best with this latest, which captures the skewed thinking of sexually obsessed,
confused, fucked-up teens, many of whom are followers of the Columbine killers. If they
havent been physically abused, then theyve been exposed to a world (school
killings; guns; parents who dont care; freaky people who set up Internet scams) that
adds to the insanity.
The Death of Sweet Mister by Daniel Woodrell: No Exit Press, U.K. 2002
Reviewed this issue. Tight white trash domestic drama with a sting.
Ghost of a Flea by James Sallis: No Exit Press, U.K., 2002
Last (?) of a series. The most laid-back detective novel ever and also very
moving.Set around New Orleans.