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The SRB Interview: Robin Robertson

May 30, 2015

Robin Robertson is a poet whose work is infused with classical myth and folklore. The gods and prophets who inhabit his poems are shape-shifting and transformational figures, such as Dionysus or Proteus. His visceral and sometimes violent verse displays a carefully controlled rhythm and musicality....

Thomas Paul Burgess and Gareth Mulvenna (eds.): Contested Identities of Ulster Protestants (Palgrave Macmillan £68)

March 24, 2015

The first thing to say is that it is important people are putting together books like this about Ulster Protestants. There are few groups in the UK that are so comprehensively misunderstood in the popular media. This volume provides much-needed depth, context, dimensions and empathy. Here is community...

Peter Geoghegan, The People’s Referendum: Why Scotland Will Never Be the Same Again (Luath Press £9.99)

January 26, 2015

Peter Geoghegan – he of soft voice and sharp mind – was one of the better journalists covering the referendum campaign on a regular basis. Such are the demands of the freelancer’s world that it was sometimes hard to keep track of his output (social media helped) but wherever his articles appeared...

Iain Thomson, High Risk: Scottish Mountain Adventures and Misadventures 1925-1986

January 21, 2015

Once, lost in a snowstorm, I tried to summon help and experienced the utter despair of knowing that it wouldn’t come. Even I couldn’t hear the sound of my whistle, its puny bleats drowned by a sustained roar of wind in high rocks. I was alone. And because I was alone and without responsibilities...

Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography (Hodder & Stoughton, paperback edition)

December 5, 2014

  Football does adore its Great Man theory of history.  It might be the so-called people’s game but individuals often surge to the fore. For plenty of fans in Scotland, this tendency is re-enforced by the perception that the era of Shankly, Busby, Stein etc, also just happened to coincide...

This is Scotland: A Country in Words and Pictures by Daniel Gray and Alan McCredie (Luath Press)

November 6, 2014

There have been many important books about Scotland published this year. Weighty tomes were required to explain how we had reached a point where the hand of history lay heavy on the shoulders of ordinary men and women. But for many people, voting aside, the referendum must have been but a distant din,...

SYMPOETRY

October 9, 2014

Many things are important to ensuring a poetry scene remains healthy. Good poets, obviously, are important. Knowledgeable critics with a lively style helps too. A diverse and brave publishing industry. An enthusiastic and versatile readership. Bring them together and you have a community. There are...

Gordon Brown – My Scotland, Our Britain: A Future Worth Sharing (Simon & Schuster UK, 2014)

September 16, 2014

It is a strange thing to be reviewing a book on the cusp of events that will probably change quite fundamentally, one way or another, the way it is viewed. The stakes are similarly high for its author, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Over the course of this year, Brown has taken on an increasing...

Jim Murphy: The 10 Football Matches That Changed the World…And the One That Didn’t (Biteback Publishing, 2014)

September 3, 2014

Jim Murphy is a busy man. Not content with his normal constituency and party political duties, he is currently undertaking a tour of 100 towns in 100 days making the case for a No vote in the referendum. He has also found the time to write a book about football. Generally speaking, politicians should...

EIBF 2014: Adam Begley on Updike and Barry Miles on Burroughs

August 24, 2014

  Two lives in one event might seem ambitious, but this was countered by the virtue of discussing two quite different authors. Adam Begley, John Updike’s biographer, said the main difference between the biographies was that ‘if you removed Burroughs’ writing from Miles’ book there would...

Blog / Discussion

In Search of Seamus

by Alan Taylor

Iolaire

by Ian Stephen

For the Good Times

by Alasdair McKillop

Underland

by Peter Ross