THE ASBO SHOW by Tony Saint Serpent’s Tail Books, £7.99 It doesn’t seem terribly promising this

PUBLISHED: 10:53 09 February 2007 | UPDATED: 14:27 07 September 2010

THE ASBO SHOW by Tony Saint Serpent s Tail Books, £7.99 It doesn t seem terribly promising this book. The word Asbo in the title, for a start, might make you assume it s an extended council pamphlet. Add to that an unremarkable cover and a PR blurb on

THE ASBO SHOW

by Tony Saint

Serpent's Tail Books, £7.99

It doesn't seem terribly promising this book. The word 'Asbo' in the title, for a start, might make you assume it's an extended council pamphlet.

Add to that an unremarkable cover and a PR blurb on the back beginning "council worker Roger joined the ASBO unit..." and it might seem they're trying to push readers away.

But don't be put off because Tony Saint has come up with a scathing satire in which the 21st century's twin obsessions of yob culture and reality TV collide - and make something of a delicious mess.

A long way from perfect - but compelling enough to make you keep reading to the end.

EXURBIA

by Molly McGrann Picador, £12.99

Set in Ronald Reagan's America of the mid 1980s, McGrann's book tells of three 'lost teenagers' - a gang-obsessed troublemaker, a 13-year-old confused girl and a far right-wing sympathiser - and how their worlds cross, collide and ultimately explode.

McGrann is married to Colin Greenwood, bass player with rock band Radiohead and the book is every bit as difficult to enjoy as her husband's music.

It may be that many will be enthralled (as with Radiohead). But I suspect many more will, like me, give up and go for something less angry and depressing.

THE BILL FROM MY FATHER by Bernard Cooper, Picador, £12.99

I've never been a big fan of memoirs - especially those by people I've never heard of - but every so often one is published which changes my mind.

Augusten Burroughs' extraordinary Running With Scissors was one and this is another.

The Bill From My Father is an hilarious and moving account of growing up and coming to terms with a bewildering father whose exploits included sending his son an itemised bill detailing all the expenses incurred in bringing him up.

Alice Sebold and Mark Salzman both praise it and if you've enjoyed either of them you'll find much to admire here.

David Crozier


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