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Reviews – Page 38 – Scottish Review of Books


On the Trail of Conan Doyle

October 21, 2009
by James Buchan

SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE is the cuckoo in the nest of Scottish literature. Irish by blood, and perhaps by temperament, he spent his childhood and college years in Edinburgh and absorbed the city’s influences: the scientific traditions of the famous medical school, and the mists and ghosts of Sir Walter...

Volume 4 – Issue 1 – Reviews

October 20, 2009

Window For A Small Blue Child By Gerrie Fellows CARCANET PRESS: £8.95 pp80 ISBN 9781857548884 REVIEWER: STEWART CONN Gerrie Fellows’ first volume Technologies (1990) synthesised landscapes real and imagined, icy frontiers crossed with no excess baggage. The Powerlines (2000) chronicled her ancestors’...

A Soft-Centred Woman

October 20, 2009
by Maggie Fergusson

THE SPRING OF 1947, as her husband’s sixtieth birthday approached, Willa Muir settled down to reflect on growing old. The fruit of her reflection was a poem: a small masterpiece, and a good starting point for anybody wanting to understand what this passionate, formidable, vulnerable woman was really...

Buchan With Bells On

October 20, 2009
by Douglas Gifford

IN 1925 JOHN BUCHAN produced his whimsical adventure story, John Mac-nab. Macnab, you may recall, was a composite of three men, familiar to Buchan lovers from many other adventures – Sir Edward Leithen, former attorney-general; John Palliser Yates, an eminent banker; and Lord Lamancha, a cabinet minister....

Hello There! China

October 20, 2009
by Ian Bell

ACCORDING TO THE CHATTER, Rupert Murdoch is bored with Britain. These days, the lately-acquired Wall Street Journal consumes his attention. The editor of London’s Times is shipped out to Manhattan to tend the new toy – a pointed reminder of relative values – and one of the progeny is gifted the...

Volume 4 – Issue 1 – Gallimaufry

October 20, 2009
by Lesley McDowell

Meas Air Chrannaibh (Fruit On Branches) Aonghas Pàdraig Caimbeul ACAIR, £13.00 pp328, ISBN 086152330X A dodo language, Gaelic “is like a patient lying/weak on her deathbed”, according to its nurse, Aong-has Pàdraig Caimbeul. Certainly, as if futureproofing his verse from one of language’s regular...

Auschwitz: A Neverending Story

October 20, 2009
by Elwira M Grossman

ANYONE WRITING TODAY on the Holocaust is haunted by the thought that the decimated generation of Holocaust survivors will soon pass away. Consequently, the question of how to preserve their voices and memory poses major challenges to post-war generations. Angela Morgan Cutler’s experimental novel...

The Real Tartan Army at War

October 20, 2009
by Trevor Royle

AS NATIONAL EVENTS are viewed by the public, the emergence of The Royal Regiment of Scot-land on March 28 2006 was hardly an event of seismic proportions. No big parades, tar-tanry kept to a minimum and only a few fellows in kilts with bagpipes. A handful of soldiers were presented with the new cap...

Rebel Reinvented

October 20, 2009
by Ajay Close

IN 1996 REBEL INC published Children Of Albion Rovers, six tales of “underdogs, losers and psycho-active users” by Irvine Welsh, Alan Warner, Laura Hird, Gordon Legge, Paul Reekie and one James Meek. It became a cult classic, required reading for student and schemie alike: the sort of book that...

Volume 4 – Issue 2 – Reviews

October 19, 2009

Glister John Burnside JONATHAN CAPE, £12.99 pp259, ISBN 9780224080743 REVIEWER: ALASDAIR MACRAE John Burnside’s previous novel, The Devil’s Footprints, is subtitled a romance, and it is a romantic story of a very vexed and vexing sort where ‘romance’ seems, at best, ironic. The term ‘romance’...