Arts and Entertainment

Where are you now and what can you see?

I’m at the BBC recording Front Row and apparently I’m looking at a brass bust of Henry Wood. The statue is in the foyer.

Publisher pledges not to censor Patten book

CHRIS Patten's memoirs, believed to be scathing in its criticism of the Chinese authorities, will be published in its entirety, his new publisher vowed last night.

Patten sues Murdoch publisher after Hong Kong memoirs axed

CHRIS PATTEN, the last Governor of Hong Kong, last night sued a publishing company owned by Rupert Murdoch after the media tycoon dropped his forthcoming memoirs which are critical of China.

Publisher who fell prey to Murdoch's Asian powerplay

Patten book row shows tycoon's Eastern promise, reports Andrew Buncombe

Patten quits Murdoch to escape book censorship

CHRIS PATTEN, the last governor of Hong Kong, has switched publishers for his forthcoming memoirs to prevent editorial censorship by Rupert Murdoch.

THE LITERATOR INSIDE PUBLISHING

Censorship at the Nibbies

Opening doors on a private drama

They are two very different women, but they share painful personal experience of eating disorders. Between them they provide as comprehensive and provocative an insight into the subject as you are likely to get, says Angela Neustatter.

THE LITERATOR

What next for Harper?

Audio Books

The world of audio books has its own stars. There's Robert Hardy, continuing his romp through the sea-sagas of Patrick O'Brian (the latest titles are The Surgeon's Mate, The Fortune of War, and Desolation Island, HarperCollins pounds 8.99 each, or available as a box set). There's Alan Cumming, so charming as the 13-year-old narrator of Rose Tremain's The Way I Found Her (HarperCollins pounds 8.99), and one of the few male readers not to make female characters sound like drag acts. And there's Kerry Shale, whose expertise with accents is demonstrated in Every Man for Himself by Beryl Bainbridge (HarperCollins pounds 8.99). He's particularly good on sinister, outsider-hating hillbillies as A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson's bestselling funny about walking the Appalachian trail, shows: "There's wun o'them! Did y'all remember to bring the rope?" (Corgi Audio pounds 9.99). Shale is screamingly funny, and this would be a great stocking filler.

Books: Film guides

Faced with the mound of competing authorities among movie guides, the best way to separate wheat from chaff is to set each the same aesthetic challenge. Today's test question is "How fully do the authors comprehend the contradictory genius of Jim Carrey as expressed in the film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective?" On this criterion, it's The Sixth Virgin Film Guide (edited by Cinebooks, Virgin, pounds 16.99) that leaps out of the pile. While acknowledging that the great Carrey's blockbusting animal-infested debut is "Stupid and surprisingly shoddy" (as it is), an informative and well-written entry wisely notes that it is also one of the funniest Hollywood films of the 1990s, and concludes that its star, like its central character, is a "genuine weirdo who happens to be stunningly competent at his job".

Friday's book: Roverandom by J R R Tolkien

That huge paperback in almost every 1970s student bedroom (which disintegrated the moment you lent it to someone) is probably still the popular image of a Tolkien book. The seemingly endless volumes of The History of Middle-Earth by Tolkien's son Christopher reinforce the idea: Tolkien's books are big.

Books: Books of the year

From Bart Simpson to Che Guevara, from the Old South to the Far North: highlights of 1997, chosen by Independent writers and other leading authors

Books: Independent choice - American crime writing

Most of the 130 chapters in James Patterson's Cat and Mouse (Headline, pounds 16.99) are two pages long, and a high proportion of them end in italics. Other than that, the italicisation, like the exclamation marks, seems quite random, as if due to some word-processing bug. The chapter breaks are arbitrary, which slows down the action dreadfully, as every chapterlette must end in suspense and begin in recap. Even within them, information is repeated for amnesiacs, and every reference spelled out: "The poet Ogden Nash", "The offbeat TV show Twin Peaks".

A modern take on an ancient Indian drama

Arundhati Roy's victory at last night's Booker Prize ceremony rounds off one of the most amazing stories in modern publishing. At the start of the decade, Roy - an architecture graduate born in 1960 in the Syrian Christian community of Kerala in India's deep south - gave up her work as a screenwriter and designer in the Indian film business to concentrate on her first novel. At that stage, she had no agent, no publisher and no advance.

Revelations: "You are, aren't you?" she exclaimed. "You are Miss Gertru de Stein." I nodded and signed her programme. Next she asked: "How is Miss Toklas?"

The time: 48 hours in May 1996 The place: Kent The man: Tom Baker, actor and former Dr Who

Don't say you ...

Haven't heard... Edwyn Collin's "I'm Not Following You", the former Orange Juice member's fourth solo album. If the single, "The Magic Piper", gave any hint to this record's sound, it should be a great mix of pop and soul.
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