MACLEAN'S REVIEWS

CHECKLISTINGS

July 1 1968
MACLEAN'S REVIEWS

CHECKLISTINGS

July 1 1968

CHECKLISTINGS

BOOKS

Above Ground by Jack Ludwig (Little, Brown, $6.95): The narrator of this novel spends much of his Win-

nipeg childhood in bed with a gimpy hip. and much of his young manhood in bed with his other weakness — women. But the real casualty is the novel itself; Ludwig (who will be writer-in-residence at the University of Toronto this fall) lets it bleed to death in a hemorrhage of pseudoJoycean language.

*" The Biological Time Bomb by Gordon Rattray Taylor (Thomas Nelson, $6.50): Taylor, a British science writer, predicts an imminent explosion in the biological sciences comparable to that in physics a generation ago, which led to such wonders as the atomic bomb. Heart-transplant operations are a mere foretaste of what is to come: unlimited interchange of organs; manipulation of genes, enabling a wouldbe mother to shop in a kind of prenatal supermarket and choose an already fertilized egg (to be implanted in her uterus) to produce a child of the sex and characteristics she desires; and the implanting of human brains in mechanical bodies.

*" The Assassination of D’Arcy McGee by T. P. Slattery (Doubleday, $7.95): It’s just 100 years since McGee was gunned down in a quiet street in Ottawa, victim of the only significant political assassination in our history. McGee was probably the most articulate of our founding fathers, as the many excerpts from his speeches and writings show. The author, a Montreal lawyer, knows his subject thoroughly, writes well, and adds yet another perspective to the story of Confederation. *■" The Magic Animal by Philip Wylie (Doubleday, $6.95): Poor old Philip Wylie, perplexed because the world still hasn’t heeded the advice he offered in Generation of Vipers 25 years ago, offers us yet another chance for salvation. But now his shrill diatribes against religion, science and the gen-

eral cussedness of mankind reveal him as a cranky old man and a bore to boot. His writing style is even worse than it used to be, if that is possible.

I Am Mary Dunne by Brian Moore (McClelland and Stewart, $6.95): Mary Dunne, a small - town Nova Scotia girl living in New York, isn’t as memorable as Brian Moore’s Judith Hearne, but she proves again that Moore has a way with women. Mary’s hangup is that after three marriages she doesn’t know who she is, a problem that brings her close to crackup. Moore belabors the old problem of Identity (and almost turns his novel into a treatise on pre-menstrual depression), but even middling Moore is worth reading.

RECORDS

* Your Own Thing: If music be the food of love, you'll want to feast on something other than RCA Victor’s original cast recording of Your Own Thing, a farcical musical comedy based ever so loosely on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. With contrived lyrics and tunes re-hashed from a dozen Broadway shows, this middle - class view of the now generation is singularly lacking in soul, most of all (ironically) in the hyper-commercial, unsokitumi The Now Generation. (LSO 1 148)

*" Glenn Gould, Dropout: From

Columbia, a two-for-the-price-of-one windfall featuring Canada’s worldfamous pianist playing mind-blowing, poetic bombast by Franz Liszt and a piano transcription of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. On the bonus record, Glenn Gould: Concert Dropout,

Gould's wry, CBC-ish wit and polish sustain an extraordinary polemic (“The concert is dead!”) on why he gave up a concert career to concentrate strictly on electronic musicianship. (MS 7095) Toronto’s Turangalila: From RCA

Victor comes a spectacular plus for Canadian musicianship: a dazzling

stereo recording by the Toronto Sym-

phony Orchestra, under Seiji Ozawa, of Oliver Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphonic. Named for the Sanskrit word for love, this massive, clangorous work receives, according to the composer himself, its best performance ever and shows off the TSO in its finest musical hour. Praise be the Canadian Centennial Commission for subsidizing the record. (LSC-7051)

*" The Jazz Giants, six great old traditionalists who were assembled for a Toronto nightclub date under cornetist Wild Bill Davison, prove here that great old jazz is even greater when it's on time and in tune. Among the memorables: trombonist Benny

Morton Struttin’ With Some Barbecue and Davison driving Black and Blue. (Sackville 3002)

•*" Jimmy Smith’s Greatest Hits is a

two-record package that’s a must for jazz-organ fans. But for listeners who seldom dig organs, even Smith’s undeniable talents can’t quite convert this medium into a meaningful message. (Blue Note BST 89901 )

Bookends (Simon and Garfunkel): Paul Simon’s own pretty, well-constructed lyrics enhance this Columbia issue, and the tunes include his compositions heard in the movie The Graduate. He and Art Garfunkel uniquely blend their voices with guitar and orchestra, creating an unusual contemporary sound. The melodies are unforgettable, arrangements superb, and the album is their best yet. (9529)

MOVIES

The Billion Dollar Brain: In Len

Deighton's latest spy flick, a Texasstyle neo-Nazi oil tycoon (Ed Begley) plots to “liberate” the entire pinko world with the strategic aid of a billion-dollar computer. Director Ken Russell has a wide-angled eye for the sinister shine of machinery and script-writer John McGrath an acute ear for the paranoiac inanities mouthed in the name of God and country by some super-Amurricans. In this, his third go as feckless agent Harry Palmer, Michael Caine is Michael Caine is Michael Caine.

^ Sebastian: Superficially, here are more computers and spy stuff, as British decoders race to interpret the complicated messages Russian sputniks broadcast back to their Motherland. Underneath the scientific clickclick, however, lies a love story of sensitive nuance. Two brilliant decoders (played with great spirit by Dirk Bogarde and Susannah York) try to unravel their minds from numbers and cryptograms and reach through the mess of public politics into something resembling private bliss.

Up The Junction: From Nell

Dunn, the author of the novel and co-scriptwriter of the film Poor Cow, comes another bittersweet tale of love and life among Britain’s lower classes. This time round, an upperclass Chelsea bird (Suzy Kendall) comes to live in lower-class Battersea, there to romanticize what she thinks of as the freedom of the natives: The point is, as her Battersea lover (Denis Waterman) makes clear, Britain is sinking and the poor are the first to get wet. This much we all know from the newspapers: only an excellent supporting cast gives the film more than ho-hum interest.

TELEVISION

*■" The Good Company: Terry (Nightcap) Kyne produces and directs this

summer variety show in color. (CBC, Mon., July 1, 9 p.m. EDT.)

^ Five Years in the Life ... : The second program in this 10-week study of 10 families of varied social, educational and economic backgrounds from across Canada. In 1972 they will be back to report what has happened to them since — when most have teenage children and some are looking forward to retirement. (CBC, Fri., June 28, 8 p.m. EDT.)

^ Helicopter Canada: Want to sec

how it feels to chase a golden eagle up a mountain pass and watch a football game from above the heads of the players? Eugene Boyko knows: he did both — and a lot more — during 18 months spent filming Canada from a helicopter for the National Film Board and Centennial Commission. (CTV, Sun., June 30, 9 p.m. EDT.)

^ Miriam Brietman: First of a weekly series of informal programs by a Winnipeg singer who ranges from opera, to folk, to pop. (CBC, Wed., July 3, 5.30 p.m. EDT.)

^ Don’t Count the Candles: Twiggy has views about what it means to grow old and gives them in Lord Snowdon's film study of aging. His subjects include Viscount Montgomery, Noel Coward, Leopold Stokowski and other aging men and women. A rerun from CBS. (CTV, Sun., July 21.9 p.m. EDT.)