Children of Albion Rovers

Children of Albion Rovers

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by Kevin Williamson, Irvine Welsh, Paul Reekie, Laura Hird
     
 

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The critically acclaimed collection of novellas featuring six of the most exciting young writers to emerge from Scotland in the 1990s, including Irvine Welsh

Children of Albion Rovers is a world of tripped-out crematorium attendants (Alan Warner), vengeful traffic-wardens (James Meek), born-again vinyl junkies (Gordon Legge), and teenage girls

Overview

The critically acclaimed collection of novellas featuring six of the most exciting young writers to emerge from Scotland in the 1990s, including Irvine Welsh

Children of Albion Rovers is a world of tripped-out crematorium attendants (Alan Warner), vengeful traffic-wardens (James Meek), born-again vinyl junkies (Gordon Legge), and teenage girls who sexually humiliate their teachers (Laura Hird). Also included are Paul Reekie's fictional account of ideals betrayed, and Irvine Welsh's first ever sci-fi story, featuring alien space casuals wreaking havoc through the known universe. The resulting mix is intoxicating to say the least.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Brutal, funny stuff."  —Booklist

"A raw display of life on the edge."  —Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Six Scottish authorsIrvine Welsh, Gordon Legge, Alan Warner, James Meek, Laura J. Hird and Paul Reekiecontribute novellas to this raw-edged collection edited by fellow Scot Williamson, former publisher of Rebel, Inc. magazine. In Welsh's (Trainspotting) "The Rosewell Incident," a clique of tobacco-dependent aliens decide to touch down in Rosewell, Scotland, because, as the alien leader explains, "we ken the score. It's only Scotland. Nae cunt listens tae youse dippit fuckers." Of the six writers in this desperately hip anthology, only Welsh tackles Scotland's political impotence head on, and the fearless antagonism, variations of voice and effortless momentum of his story distinguish it as the most ambitious and accomplished of the bunch. Even when Scots angst isn't the obvious subject of these novellas, however, it makes veiled appearancesfor instance, in the self-indulgent intellectualism of Reekie's (Zap, You're Pregnant) "Submission," which pokes fun at the navet of Scottish folklore, or in Whitbread nominee Warner's (Morvern Callar) trippy novella-of-manners, "After the Vision." While Warner owes a clear debt to Joyce, Meek's (McFarlane Boils the Sea; Last Orders) stylized "Brown Pint of Courage" pays homage to that great-grandfather of Celtic modernism, Thomas Carlyle. "Pop Life" is Legge's (In Between Talking About the Football; The Shoe) sentimental, predictable account of a three-way friendship fostered by a shared lust for record-collecting. Hird's debut, "The Dilating Pupil," meanwhile, in which a self-satisfied Edinburgh high-school teacher is seduced by his star student and falls victim to a range of cutting-edge chemical stimuli, is the most humanly compelling and vividly imagined piece in the collection. The urgent, accented voices here comprise a motley crew but one worth listening to. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
Stories by six young writers, the cream of the contemporary Scottish Beats crop, are anthologized here in a raw display of life on the edge.

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 job—one even falling in love on his lunch break with a woman who shares his passion for Thomas Carlyle—before 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780862417314
Publisher:
Canongate UK
Publication date:
01/01/2001
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Irvine Welsh is the author of CrimeEcstasy, Skagboys, and Trainspotting, which was made into a film. He lives in Chicago. Alan Warner is the author of Morvern Callar and The Sopranos. Gordon Legge is the author of I Love Me: Who Do You Love? James Meek is the author of The People's Act of Love and We Are Now Beginning Our Descent. Laura Hird is the author of Born Free. Paul Reekie was a writer, poet, and an inspiring figure in 1990s Edinburgh underground writing. Kevin Williamson is an activist, politician, and poet, whose Rebel Inc. imprint with Canongate UK republished such out-of-print writers as Richard Brautigan, Charles Bukowski, and Nelson Algren.

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