P324 ORACLE 324 Sun17 Oct ITV 2201:00  4/5  ORACLE  READS   BOOK REVIEW FROM DEREK PARKER PULLING OUT A PLUM Frances Donaldson, the author of this authorised biography of P.G. Wodehouse, knew and loved "Plum" all her life. There was much to love, once you grasped the fact that all Wodehouse lived for was writing: he had no grasp of politics (notoriously so), no social chat, perhaps a cool, if not cold, heart. But as the many felicitous quotations show, he was a natural genius as a comic novelist, and if this book proves that little actually happened to him, he happened to literature - and that's enough. From Weidenfeld & Nicolson at £10.95 Concise Oxf. Dictionary of Proverbs >
P324 ORACLE 324 Sun17 Oct ITV 2201:10  1/5  ORACLE  READS   BOOK REVIEW FROM DEREK PARKER THE TIGER'S INSIDE HER On the cover of Jean-Paul Goude's scrap book, JUNGLE FEVER, the magnificently sensual singer Grace Jones prowls rampantly naked inside a tiger's cage. Demeaning to women? Ah, but the joke is, she's eaten the tiger - and Goude's photographs and drawings, besides being a homage to beautiful black women, are in the end acceptable because apart from his wonderful command of composit- ion and colour, he has an unfailing sense of humour. This is a stunningly amusing, surprising, sexy and exotic book. From Quartet Books at £15 On the Black Hill >
P324 ORACLE 324 Sun17 Oct ITV 2210:03  3/5  ORACLE  READS   BOOK REVIEW FROM DEREK PARKER WORRIED,NEW YORK... Perplexity is the theme of Richard Peck's NEW YORK TIME. The narrator, a middle-aged woman, is taken off by her husband to New York, and has trouble adjusting. Then her husband leaves her. On top of it all, she falls in love with a boy 15 years her junior, and gets pregnant. He's not worried; but can she face the situation? And here's her husband back again, dead drunk and set on reconciliation. A funny, genuinely sensitive novel; very American, very concerned, very human. From Corgi at £1.50 Plum >
P324 ORACLE 324 Sun17 Oct ITV 2200:12  2/5  ORACLE  READS   BOOK REVIEW FROM DEREK PARKER MY BROTHER'S KEEPER? For a shatteringly claustrophobic look at the lives of twin brothers, Bruce Chatwin turns in his new novel towards the bleak, sombre Black Mountains. In ON THE BLACK HILL he tells of Lewis and Benjamin, whose lives are so knit one to the other that they are forced to sacrifice love, content, individual- ity; the miracle is that in the end all the passion and tension seems in a perverse way to make for something positive and to transcend the gloom of this complex and very moving book. From Cape at £7.50 New York Time >
P324 ORACLE 324 Sun17 Oct ITV 2201:10  5/5  ORACLE  READS   BOOK REVIEW FROM DEREK PARKER TOO MANY COOKS GATHER NO MOSS Did you know that the first bad worklan blamed his tools in 13th century France? That comparisons were first odious in 1440; that Erasmus first said that "a rolling stone gathers no moss"? That too many cooks first spoiled the broth in 1575? If you didn't, J.A. Simpson's CONCISE OXFORD DICTIONARY OF PROVERBS is the book for you: a good reference book, but also a delightful anthology of the English proverbs which, like bricks, helped build our language. From O.U.P. at £7.95. Jungle Fever >