Sunday 16 April 1995
2 Raging Heart: The Intimate Story of the Tragic Marriage of O J and Nicole Brown Simpson by Sheila Weller (Simon & Schuster £12.99). O J Simpson is being rammed into our lives, whether we like it or not, so if you decide you might as well find out what really happened this book - written in pure soap - will give you the grisly lead-up to the ghastly events. The early life of O J, the malnourished kid with rickets whose mother couldn't even afford proper leg-braces for his bowed limbs, is enough to make you forgive the fact that, once famous, he erected a life-size black bronze statue of himself, in full football gear, beside his own swimming pool. Well, almost. After he fell for the beautiful Nicole Brown, life seemed perfect - especially after she got proficient at make-up that covered the bruises. All very sad, very tacky, absolutely riveting.
2 Surfing the Internet (Abacus £9.99), sub-titled "A Net-Head's Adventures On-Line", is a strange text, simultaneously inviting and excluding the reader curious to find out more about argot and Netiquette. Author J C Hertz, goofing around on computer, accidentally discovers this hyperactive, garrulous and sleepless universe. Grazing on junk cereals and staying up all night, she "lurks", a silent voyeur on the Net, then leaps in. At once the most egalitarian and snobbish of creatures, Netties champion diversity but have quasi-racist worries of being "swamped" by new users, who may not understand the Net's "cultural traditions". Citizens of this strange new world are under no obligation to tell the truth, and consequently identity is fluid. "Murdering Thug" posts bulletins about computer crime, letter bombs and anarchy, but is rumoured to be a dowdy housewife on Long Island. And J C Hertz herself has the snappy, "shake 'n' bake self-serve identity" of the Nettie fantasist: gender-free, utterly impersonal. She's probably a middle-aged clerk in Ohio.
2 Joanna Trollope's teenagers don't surf the Internet. In The Best of Friends (Bloomsbury £15.99) two interwoven families (Laurence and Gina, married to Hilary and Fergus, are the best friends of the title) feel the strain when one of the marriages breaks up. Set in the typically Trollopean town of Whittingbourne, it's a tale of betrayals and shifting alignments among adults, while the teenagers look on in scorn. Trollope endows her narrow characters with real, throbbing emotions to great effect. There are a few attempts at a broader canvas - a working-class Gran who calls people "dear", and teens mumbling vaguely about raves - but this is the usual quietly perceptive tale of shredded gentility.
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food