Paperbacks

Daily Mail (London), October 27, 2000 | Go to article overview

Paperbacks


Byline: CARLA MCKAY

Paperbacks Where Rivers Change Direction by Mark Spragg (Vintage, [pounds sterling]6.99) THIS is a memoir of sweeping power, recalling Spragg's childhood on the oldest ranch in Wyoming.

It's an intoxicating synergy of the brutal reality of frontier life and the constant majesty of the land. He rides horses into the wilderness of the Wapiti Valley, where he witnesses bravery and savagery, which strip away his childhood as he learns to survive. The protracted description of hunting a wounded grizzly is masterly. But his great skill is in rendering subtle touches of humanity. A worthy addition to the dynasty of Jack London and Fenimore Cooper. A.M.

The Fly Truffler by Gustaf Sobin (Bloomsbury, [pounds sterling]6.99) SET in Provence where the author and poet Sobin lives, this book is a small, exquisite feast of sensation, rather like the truffle itself. Philippe Cabassac, its narrator, is a lecturer on Provencal linguistics, a recluse who spends his time fly-truffling while not teaching or collecting new dialectical permutations.

Unexpectedly, he falls in love with and marries his student, Julieta. When she dies of a fever brought on by miscarriage, the grief-stricken Cabassac shifts into a dreamlike dimension in which truffles trigger visions of his dead wife. A hauntingly beautiful novel.

Killing Grace by Simon Shaw (HarperCollins, [pounds sterling]9.99) LEWIS is a good-looking cheeky chappie builder who spends a lot of time servicing the willing wives of his Surrey commuter-belt clients.

His rule is never get involved.

Once the kitchen's finished, so is the affair. …

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