OFF Switch IF THE TELEVISION'S NOT ON

Article excerpt

NEW OUT What? Skios by Michael Frayn (Faber and Faber, pounds 15.99) What's it about? This latest title from the prince of farce doesn't disappoint, inciting unstifled chuckles from start to raucous, unexpected finish. On the sunny Greek island of Skios, as its expat community gears up for the social event of the year, a case of mistaken identity sparks a rapid chain of mayhem that threatens to topple the status quo. Writing sharply yet languidly, with tongue firmly in cheek, Frayn draws a cast of tarts and buffoons worthy of Gerald Scarfe.

Is it any good? Professional organisers will groan with recognition at the logistical nightmares seen here. More than anything, though, this satirical gem is, quite simply, hilarious.

What? Home by Toni Morrison (Chatto & Windus, pounds 12.99) What's it about? The author introduces us to Frank Money, an African-American Korean war veteran who has returned to 1950s segregated America. Despite fighting for his country, he's hardly welcomed home and has to contend with post-traumatic stress disorder from his time on the frontline. He breaks free from hospital and journeys back to Georgia with his younger sister, Cee. …