Greville St Bookstore

James Ellroy’s Underworld Trilogy
October 24, 2009, 6:27 am
Filed under: Literature

bloods-a-roverBLOOD’S A ROVER
James Ellroy
pb $32.95

An alternative history of the USA exponentially more bitter and twisted than Don DeLillo’s Underworld; an underworld more monstrous and demented than Dante’s Inferno, James Ellroy’s Underworld USA trilogy is a wild ride!

Beginning in 1958 with American Tabloid, on to The Cold Six Thousand with America reeling in the aftermath of the JFK assassination, and culminating with Ellroy’s current volume Blood’s a Rover, those very BAAAAD BROTHERS we hate to love make their swan song appearance. It’s 1968. J Edgar Hoover, Howard “Drac” Hughes and The Mob are the unholy trinity. Nixon is their pawn. Those who work for them, with them and against them would be hard pressed to disentangle their bewitching mess of loyalties. They are stone cold killers, heroin smugglers, right wing, racist, damaged, self-destructive, window peepers, guilt consumed, lovers of women (or men clandestinely). The 1970s are upon them; the world is changing; the tide is turning; their days are numbered…

In his signature staccato style, and interspersed with spurious document and diary entries, Ellroy has written an apochryphal history of the mid-twentieth century. This is seriously crazy shee-it!!

also available:
american-tabloidAMERICAN TABLOID
pb $24.95

pb $24.95





—reviewed by Rata


October 19, 2009, 12:41 am
Filed under: Art, Design


Papercraft: design and art with paper
Gestalten, $128

Papercraft is an extensive survey on the insatiable trend of innovative art and design work crafted from paper. It explores the astounding possibilities of paper and gathers the most extraordinary creations – from small objects and figures to large-scale art installations and urban interventions as well as three-dimensional graphic sculptures from a vast spectrum of artistic disciplines ranging from character design, urban art, fine art, graphic design, illustration, fashion, animation and film. The book also includes a DVD with fun DIY printable templates for creating your own paper characters and toys as well as a curated selection of the best stop-motion animations.

October 19, 2009, 12:36 am
Filed under: Design


A visual history of typefaces and graphic styles, vol 1 1628 – 1900

Cees Jong, Alston W. Purvis, Jan Tholenaar (Ed.)

Taschen, $125


This exuberant selection of typographic fonts and styles traces the modern evolution of the printed letter, reproducing pages from exquisitely designed catalogues showing type specimens in roman, italic, bold, semi-bold, narrow, and broad fonts. Also included are borders, ornaments, initial letters and decorations, and many spectacular examples of their use. Victorian fonts, spectacular in their complexity, are accorded a prominent place. In addition, examples from lithography and letters by inscription carvers and calligraphers are also included and described.


Featuring works by type designers William Caslon, Fritz Helmuth Ehmcke, Peter Behrens, Rudolf Koch, Eric Gill, Jan van Krimpen, Paul Renner, Jan Tschichold, A. M. Cassandre, Aldo Novarese, and Adrian Frutiger.

October 19, 2009, 12:35 am
Filed under: Design

Epica book twenty two: Europe’s best advertising
Patrick Taschler (Ed.)
AVA, $120

Epica book twenty two: Europe’s best advertising features more than 950 commercials, print ads, innovative media ideas, publications, internet sites, direct marketing operations, packaging design projects and integrated campaigns honoured in the 2008/09 Epica awards, Europe’s premier creative awards show.
Epica Book 22 is introduced by Amir Kassaei, Executive Creative Director of DDB Germany. It includes articles by Lewis Blackwell and Mark Tungate, author of Media Monoliths and Adland (Kolan Page), who also contributed the creative synopses.

October 19, 2009, 12:33 am
Filed under: Design


What do you love?
IdN, $79.90

What do you love? is IdN’s 15th anniversary edition and is their biggest-ever publication to-date! A massive 452-page hardcover packaged with higher resolutions DVD-9 production! Featuring specially commissioned work from 250+ of the highly talented creators who have collaborated with IDN over the last decade and a half — sharing their thoughts on the past; and their visions of the future.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2009
October 14, 2009, 4:51 am
Filed under: Literature

mullerHerta Müller

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2009 is awarded to the German author Herta Müller, “who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed“.

Unfortunately none of her books are currently available in translation, though the distributor in Australia seems to be expecting stock of The Passort and The Land of Green Plums by mid-November.

The Tokyo Trilogy Part II
October 11, 2009, 6:01 am
Filed under: Literature

by David Peace
pb $32.99

I have been a huge David Peace fan since crucifying myself on The Red Riding Quartet (now filmed for British Channel 4 as The Red Riding Trilogy and available on DVD) at a rate of one per week. Peace’s high octane exposure of police corruption, collusion, conspiracy and cover-ups in the four novels based around the Yorkshire Ripper murders in the 1970s and 80s reads like a British James Ellroy. Dark, savage and brutal; experimental, repetitive and rhythmic; Peace’s style would not appeal to everyone, especially not if you’re after an easily apprehensible, simple narrative in the thriller genre. In fact, I have wondered whether Peace would get published if his themes were not so unremittingly violent.

With a move to Tokyo in 1994, Peace has proceeded to do for Japan under US military occupation what The Red Riding Quartet did for Yorkshire in the prelude to Thatcher’s government. The first in the projected Tokyo Trilogy, his formidable Tokyo Year Zero, is based around the true story of serial killer Yoshio Kodaira, and follows the gradual breakdown of the central investigating detective. Part two, Occupied City, is again inspired by a true incident, the horrifying mass murder by cyanide poisoning of staff at the Teigin Bank in Tokyo in 1948. Peace acknowledges his dept to Rashomon and In a Grove by Akutagawa Ryunosuke, for the structure of Occupied City. Like these two stories his novel examines the nature of ‘truth’ from the viewpoint of all witnesses and invested parties: the victims’, investigator’s, suvivor’s, an American scientist’s, a medium’s, journalist’s, business man’s, a Russian soldier’s, the honest detective’s, the condemned man’s, the real killer’s, the mourner’s. In a circle of twelve candles, a seance is conducted summoning each ‘ghost’, who tells his version of events — by documents, diaries or rants — until a synchronicity of views reveals more of the case and circumstances.

Once again Peace has created false heroes and vulnerable anti-heroes, excruciating deaths and even worse lives, an environment of suspicion and self-interest, all predicated on the horrors that men inflict on each other and then attempt to deny.

—reviewed by Rata