Spotlight on . . .

YOU wouldn’t believe the random items and emails that arrive on the desk of an entertainment editor. In Spotlight on... I’ll highlight the ones that might otherwise slip under the radar, have some cult value or simply just be worth mentioning again. This week ...


Couldn’t get tickets to Rihanna’s sold out gig at the SECC next week? No matter, with the money saved you can be first in the queue for the R&B superstar’s eagerly-awaited sixth album, Talk That Talk, when it hits the shops on Monday.

Available in both deluxe and standard editions, the new album sees the singer working once again with producer Verse Simmomds, and features guest appearances from rap superstar Jay-Z and Scotland’s own Calvin Harris, among others.

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The raunchy star - famed for having outrageous hairstyles and colours and making steamy music videos - says she’s decided to go back to simplicity for Talk That Talk, and wants the focus to be more on the music than her image.

“I kind of just wanted to scale back, instead of having a look,” says Rihanna, riding high in the singles chart with her sixth number one single, We Found Love. “I didn’t want to make it such a big deal, like what hair colour. I wanted to go back to something simple, something flexible - something a little more natural.

“It’s more about the music,” she adds. “I don’t want to become a gimmick, ever.”

Talk That Talk is out on Monday


In recent years, a batch of posthumous books by iconic authors have stirred debate over how publishers should handle fragmentary literary remains. We’ve seen works by Vladimir Nabokov, Graham Greene and Kurt Vonnegut among others - and now comes the “lost novel” from Beat generation writer Jack Kerouac.

Once described by Kerouac as being about “man’s simple revolt from society as it is, with the inequalities, frustration, and self-inflicted agonies”, the 158-page handwritten manuscript was Kerouac’s first novel, but was not published during his lifetime.

The novel follows the fortunes of Wesley Martin, a man who Kerouac said “loved the sea with a strange, lonely love”.

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The On The Road author began writing the novel not long after his first tour as a merchant seaman in the summer of 1942, during which time he kept a journal detailing the gritty daily routine of life at sea.

Inspired by the trip, which exemplified Kerouac’s love for adventure and the character traits of his fellow shipmates, the journals were spontaneous sketches of those experiences that were woven into a short novel soon after disembarking from the ship a couple of months later.

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The Sea is My Brother is part of a wave of previously unpublished work from the cult author that is only now coming to the surface. A 1945 collaboration with William Burroughs, And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks, was published for the first time in 2008. Since then we’ve seen the first publication of Kerouac’s 1955 biography of the founder of Buddhism, Wake Up, as well as the unexpurgated scroll of On the Road being released for the first time.

Given that no one wanted to publish the novel during Kerouac’s lifetime, it’s unlikely we have an undiscovered gem to look forward to - but still, fans will welcome this portrait of the artist as a young man.

The Sea Is My Brother is out hardback on November 24, £25


IF you missed Bridemaids at the multiplex over the summer, then go out and grab a copy of the uproarious comedy on DVD.

Bridesmaids is smarter, funnier and emotionally deeper than The Hangover, introducing us to a menagerie of neurotic, self-obsessed yet ultimately loveable ladies, who are one extra spicy Mexican meal away from catastrophe.

Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo’s script is an embarrassment of hysterical riches, anchored by winning performances from a talented ensemble cast, who throw vanity to the wind and humiliate themselves for our delight.

An instant comedy classic, as one reviewer put it: ‘It’s hard to imagine a more uproarious and satisfying comedy all summer, perhaps all year’.

Bridesmaids is out now on DVD, £9.99

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