IN&OUTTONIGHT REVIEWS 24 Tuesday, 6 October 2009 London Lite ITS all too easy to dismiss Jeremy Clarkson as Victor Meldrew on wheels but Clarkson is in a whole different league to the famous elderly whinger -- he moans even more. Driven To Distraction is a collection of the Top Gear presenters Sunday newspaper columns. And whereas most authors dedicate their book to their partner or pet, Clarkson credits everyone who made my Range Rover. That, and his habit of referring to arch tree-hugger Bono as Bonio, is reason enough to buy a copy. Not every marque gets away with the praise singled out for the Range Rover, though. The Aston Martin DB9 has rear seats that no mammal yet created could fit into, while the interior of the Jaguar XJR is so dated you expect the wireless to provide you with Raymond Baxter and not much else. But its when Clarkson disses the dunderheads who run the nations infrastructure that he excels. The Government is idiotic for trying to cram more and more people into the seething mass of superheated metal, Tarmac and frayed tempers that is the South- East; the C-charge keeps the poor out of central London. Yes, he might be obnoxious and wear absurd driving pumps, but this excellent book could just as well have been dedicated to anyone who has ever sat in a traffic jam dreaming of shooting the Transport Secretary. JAMES ANTHONY T ONY WILSON, the late Factory Records boss, once said: Some make money, others make history. The Hacienda definitely fell into the latter category. The legendary Man- chester venue may have been financially ruinous for Wilson, Factory and its star band New Order, but had it not existed, clubland would be very different. It brought us acid house and superstar DJs, pills and podiums. It turned everyone raving mad. As Peter Hook writes: Anyone who went to the club will always feel like theyre one up on anybody who didnt. But this isnt a snooty I was there book. Its a heady, addictive account of a creative, corrupt time in going-out history. I pulled an all-nighter just to finish it. Its success is down to Hooky, New Orders bassist, who co-founded the Hac and whose attitude to drugs back then was basically that of a donkey let loose in a field of strawberries. The title isnt a joke. The owners didnt have a clue. The band originally invested 100,000 in the venture, but ended up throwing their money at it like a man with 10 arms. They burned through all their cash, once quite literally. At the New Years Eve party in 1987, an indoor fireworks display set fire to the safe, sending the entire nights takings up in smoke. The Hacienda hosted nights that could rival the last days of Rome (or as Hook puts it, What a bunch of d**kheads we all were). Wilsons brief to his architect was industrial fan- tasy (at a time when dry ice was considered futur- istic). The dance floor was often filled with fresh flowers to look like a garden of earthly delights. Hooky says that every paying punter actually cost the club 10. It was open for 15 years, which gives you a sense of how much money was lost. We were too busy getting p***ed, he admits. Even Barney [Sumner], who could be notoriously careful, didnt bother about how much money was at stake. It was boring. Plus, theyd discovered pills. And Hooky remembers working the door one night and asking the bar staff to bring him a triple vodka every 10 minutes. You can feel a hangover coming on just reading about it. The book is dedicated to the memory of co-founders Wilson, New Orders manager Rob Gretton and producer Martin Hannett. There wont be a fonder, funnier tribute to those 24-hour party people than Hooks book, even if he admits that when he now walks past what was the Hacienda (it has been converted into flats) he tells his children: Theres you r i n he r i - tance, kids. Rob spent it. REVIEWSBOOKS Clarksonputshisfootdown ontheroadtomotormoans Glory daze: iconic club Hacienda CRIME Strong Women ByRobertaKray(Sphere,6.99) BEING the widow of Reggie Kray -- who was surely the East Ends most notorious gangster -- has to provide some kind of insider gangland knowledge, just perfect for writing a cockney crime thriller, hasnt it? Strong Women is Roberta Krays second attempt at a Martina Cole copycat, and it isnt half bad. Nothing will quite rival Coles raw, uncompromisingly brutal stories that have catapulted her on to the bestsellers list. Yet, despite being married to Reggie for only three years, this is a Cole-esque, addictive read. Set in the East End (of course), the story follows young widow Jo Strong, who is struggling to cope with her acidic mother-in-law and the suspicious circumstances surrounding her husbands death. Cue friend/foe in disguise, Susan, who convinces Jo to help her out of a sticky situation, but actually stitches her right up. Thanks to Susan, Jo and her newly acquired accomplice, handsome bad boy Gabe Miller, are now up to their necks in it. Dodgy goings-on ensue, so expect a healthy dose of the kidnapping, blackmail and murder that no East End novel would be complete without. REBECCA BOYCE SHE might be a call girl who has seen it all but if youre expecting a blow by blow (sorry) guide to being great in the sack, this isnt for you. Instead, the infamous escorts third book -- a kind of self-help dating guide with swearing -- is all girlie chat and little action. Its an entertaining romp through various male stereotypes (The Eternal Youth, The Nerd etc) as well as female ones -- are you a Plain Jane or a Scary Bitch? It talks about the pros and cons of having friends with benefits and internet dating but there isnt any advice here that your girlfriends dont give you. In short: if you have a man dont nag him and try to spice it up in bed. And if youre single, get out there, enjoy yourself and lighten up about sex -- if that means threesomes so much the better. Its pretty much Sex And The City in a book... without the cool clothes. MARIANNE POWER IF YOU think of Peter Cook, you think of the comic genius, the partnership with Dudley Moore and the alcoholic downfall. This book, by his wife Judy, makes Cook seem both funnier and more insecure than you might have thought. Although they were both already married, the couple fell for each other instantly. She was gorgeous -- big eyes and long legs. He was the coolest man in town. But as he got funnier, he drank more, and as he drank more, he became paranoid, and also a chocoholic. WILLIAM LEITH Loving Peter ByJudyCookandAngelaLevin (Piatkus,8.99) DRIVING Driven To Distraction ByJeremyClarkson(Penguin,20) TO BE a philosopher, says Simon Critchley, is to learn how to die. Well, maybe. Here, in a way that is rather addictive, he charts the final days of every philosopher you can name. Aquinas had an accident with a tree; for William of Ockham it was Black Death. Sir Thomas More applied his own blindfold on the scaffold. David Hume had bowel trouble; Nietzsche had syphilis. As for Roland Barthes -- he was run over by a laundry truck. WL The Book Of Dead Philosophers BySimonCritchley (Granta,9.99) RICHARD MABEY is famous for his 1972 book Food For Free, and a more recent book about how spending time outdoors can help with depression. Here, he tells you how to improvise in the kitchen. Its partly about being thrifty, and partly just about the joy of making do -- after all, as he says, inventiveness is the product of hardship. Mabey is a natural forager, and he describes the process of cooking with a sort of purity and simplicity. Nothing here is difficult and you could do it all yourself. WL Wild Cooking ByRichardMabey (Vintage,8.99) THE BIG READ The Hacienda: How Not To Run A Club ByPeterHook(Simon&Schuster,18.99) AMBER COWAN RELATIONSHIPS Belle De Jours Guide To Men ByBelleDeJour(Orion,10) Newpaperbacks Wheel whinger: Jeremy Clarkson Bass ace: Peter Hook index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html