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terry-truman@excite.com (Bristol, UK)

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Ransom (Vintage Contemporaries)
Ransom (Vintage Contemporaries)
by Jay McInerney
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's well worth tracking down., 27 May 2000
This is the second novel by Jay McInerney, which is not yet published in the UK.
Having read all McInerney's other novels it comes as a surprise that this one is not set amongst the bright lights of New York. This is the story of Ransom, who has been living in Kyoto after travelling in Asia. It soon becomes obvious that he is trying to purge himself of a terrible event that happened on his travels. He takes up karate, lives a disciplined life, with only a few ex-pats for friends.
McInerney carefully draws the reader into the plot, gradually unfolding the drama from Ramon's past and present. Although his novels are usually set amongst the smart set, who it is often difficult to have any feelings for, that is not the case for the main character in this novel. I'm tempted to say the Ransom is one of the best, fully rounded characters McInerney has created. There is a supprising ending and I feel that this is one of his best novels, and would come as a pleasant surprise to those who only know "Bright Lights, Big City" and "The Story of My Success". It's well worth tracking down and baffling why it's the only one of the authors novels yet to be published in the UK.


Warhol
Warhol
by David Bourdon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully illustrated volume of Warhol's work, 1 Mar. 2000
This review is from: Warhol (Paperback)
This is a lavishly illustrated large format book (11"x11") by one time Warhol associate David Bourdon.
It tells the oft told story of how a sickly boy from a poor immigrant family became one of the most famous artists of the twentieth century, who's images of the famous and the mundane still influence art, design fashion and advertising today.
Even though the book is over 400 pages long with the author obviously interviewing many of the artist friends and family, Bourdon does not really document Warhol's life in any great detail. If that is what you are looking for, I suggest Victor Bockris excellent detailed biography "Warhol". Having said that, the author does cover all the main events of Warhol's life in a gossipy easy to read style (one which Warhol himself might have enjoyed).
The books main attraction is the amount of full page colour illustrations of the artists work. Probably around two thirds of the books 432 pages are given over to this, beginning with Warhol's first drawings at Pittsburgh Art College up to his last series The Last Supper.
Bourdon argues a convincing case for Warhol's importance as an artist and how more than several of the artist's concepts (I hesitate to call them theories) on the nature of celebrity and the business of art have entered the public conscience. I doubt we would have had Basquiat, Emin and Hirst without Warhol. The book shows how Warhol was and still is the perfect mirror for his age. From the Campbell soup tins, underground films, the drugs and sex filled Factory or the fame obsessed, celebrity portraits of the 70's.
If you are after an indepth biography of Andy Warhol I suggest that you try Bockris instead. However, if you are after a beautifully illustrated volume of Warhol's work and a good introduction to his life and work I strongly recommend this book.


Tainted Life
Tainted Life
by Marc Almond
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As great a read for non fans as it is for fans., 2 Jan. 2000
This review is from: Tainted Life (Hardcover)
Because his music is seen as being in the pop genre, Marc Almond isn't given the credit he is due. I would defiantly rank him with Nick Cave as being one of the few consistently interesting serious artist, one who is not afraid to take risks. Almond has been making excellent, interesting music for twenty years, taking his listeners where ever his exotic tastes have lead, not just where record companies think the next hit will come.
This long awaited autobiography documents the years of chart success and excess with Soft Cell and his long and varied solo career. Perhaps more interestingly it also revile his childhood in Southport and years at Art College in Leeds. While his childhood was an unhappy one, Almond really found himself at college, which often makes of a great and funny read. Reading about these years before success enables us to more fully understand Almond the man. Documenting the time he spend in New York and Barcelona throws more light on allot the characters Amond sings about.
Almond details the long years struggling with drug dependency, record company hankering after hits and hangers on , never asking for our sympathy or blaming anyone but himself. Unlike allot of star autobiographies, this was obviously not an easy, ghosted book to write, and we should be thankful Almond had the courage to write such a book
This book throws new light on one of music's most consistently interesting artist and would be as great a read for non fans as it is for fans.


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