Children of Albion Rovers: An Anthology of New Scottish Writingby Irvine Welsh, Alan Warner, James Meek, Kevin Williamson, Gordon Legge
Hard-edged and iconoclastic, the new wave of Scottish writers and their godfather, Irvine Welsh, write a darkly funny brand of fiction about people on the fringe. This anthology includes six full-length novellas by the most promising of these writers.
An excerpt from a 1991 novel by Alan Warner, here titled "After the Vision," is the most successful of the lot, describing one man's long voyage home after a rave, a journey that touches bottom when he meets a long-lost mate who enthuses over his job at a crematorium, then begins slowly to rise when he meets two women who take him to their friend, who in turn offers him a couch for a much-needed night's sleep. Also funny and compelling is "The Brown Pint of Courage," by James Meek, in which three bottom-rung members of Edinburgh's parking police force indulge in mayhem and coercion on the jobone even falling in love on his lunch break with a woman who shares his passion for Thomas Carlylebefore the good times come to an end in spectacular fashion. Other interesting stories by Laura J. Hird and Paul Reekie involve a teacher's nightlong seduction of his 16-year-old student, which doesn't go quite as he planned ("The Dilating Pupil"), and a chronicle of a generation finding its way in the world, narrated by a man recovering from burns received while sitting on a toilet that ignited ("Submission"). The most touted piece here, however, proves disappointing: Irvine Welsh's sci-fi spoof involving aliens and their command of Scots English ("The Rosewell Incident"), has a few laughs but not much else.
The vision of Scottish life created by these six voices is remarkably consistent, vital, and unyieldingly tough-minded, but it's too early to say if these promising young writers will mature into major ones, or if they'll gain much of a foothold on these shores.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.76(w) x 8.34(h) x 0.88(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
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