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Desert Child - or Just how amusing can a nightmare be?

Jenny Jewel is reinventing herself from radical stand-up comic to quirky TV presenter. She goes to the monastery of St. Raphael's, situated halfway up Mount Sinai, next to the Burning Bush! Jenny's purpose is to make the next programme in a series called 'Blackpool it isn't' which takes a sideways look at God, history and the desert. What was meant to a comedy developed in other directions! What went wrong? Was it the drunk psychologists, the skulls, the men in black dresses, the sexual innuendoes in the library, the Strict Baptists from Bournemouth, Poirot, Van Gogh, or the search for a child?

Val Maidstone

By Simon Parke
Hodder & Stoughton. 166 pages. £5.99
ISBN 0 340 69412 2