Book Reviews

Article excerpt

NEW FICTION The World Of Poo by Terry Pratchett is published in hardback by Doubleday, priced pounds 12.99. Available now.

Geoffrey is a young boy with a passion for poo, so when he is sent to stay with his surprisingly tolerant Grand-mama in the big city of Ankh-Morpork, he starts collecting exhibits for a special museum.

As he collects bird, dog, hippo, wyvern and gargoyle droppings, he meets people who rely on waste to make a living, from lowly night soil men and aristocratic lavatory inventors to entrepreneurs who know that where there's muck, there's brass, and "white pearls" fetch a good price from the leather tanners.

Sam desperately searches for a cure while becoming fascinated with the theories and misinformation surrounding Book reviews Terry Pratchett's Discworld series has spawned spin-offs, and there are many references to characters. But grown-up fans, their young children and first-timers should enjoy this scatological addition, filled with puns and snippets of fascinating information.

After all, who hasn't wondered about how the world worked before plumbing? The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus is published in hardback by Granta, pounds 16.99. Available now.

Ben Marcus is an editor and associate professor at Columbia University, with three previous works of fiction to his name, including Notable American Women and The Age Of Wire And String. His fourth, The Flame Alphabet, explores what happens to people's relationships when communication fails, because in the novel, children's speech becomes lethal to adults.

Sam and Claire find it difficult to leave their daughter Esther as other people flee from their loved ones, leaving gangs of children ruling the streets, their speech deadly.

the mysterious epidemic - but faces a heart-breaking decision. It's a story that is both an intelligent exploration of what is left of life when verbal communication breaks down, and a thrilling story about survival at all costs.

NON-FICTION Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death And Hope In A Mumbai Slum by Katherine Boo is published in paperback by Portobello Books, pounds 14.99. Available now.

Katherine Boo is an award-winning investigative journalist and this, her first book, also deserves many plaudits. …