Not so much an author these days as a trademark, Tom Clancy shows off with relentless frequency the high-street firepower of his bulky spy- and-shootout romps. This week's familiar, post-Christmas fiction list divides neatly between the old-fashioned blockbusters (Clancy, Colin Forbes, the Ancient Egyptian hokum of the Ramses series) and younger, more upscale bestsellers of the Welsh, Faulks and Garland kind. It's a print version of the cultural contest between (say) ITV and Channel 4, with the trad stars still a bit ahead. There's little change on the non-fiction list, the only new entry being Nigella Lawson's How to Eat which, with no direct TV tie-in, is gathering sales the best way possible - word of mouth and well-fed stomachs.
Compiled from data supplied on sales over seven days ending 10 January 1999
Bookwatch Ltd, 1999 ORIGINAL FICTION TITLE AUTHOR/PUBLISHER WEEKLY SALES PRICE 1 (1) Tom Clancy's Powerplays: ruthless.com Tom Clancy (Penguin) 2,929 pounds 5.99 2 (2 ) Churchill's People Mary Jane Staples (Corgi) 2,194 pounds 5.99 3 (6) Ramses 5: Under the Western Acacia Christian Jacq (Simon & Schuster) 1,830 pounds 9.99 4 (3) Miracle Cure Michael Palmer (Arrow) 1,745 pounds 5. …