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Reviews – Page 5 – Scottish Review of Books


All Along The Watchtower

March 3, 2017
by Neal Ascherson 

Kapka Kassabova is a modern Scheherazade – a dazzling writer who tells stories as if her life depended on it. And these tales are not her own fiction.


March 3, 2017
by Rosemary Goring

A man walks into the Mitchell Library: Reader: Have you got a book on Glasgow, mister? Librarian: Aye, 4000! Reader: Well, it’s the north of the city. Librarian: Oh, aye, here, there’s this, there’s that. Reader: It’s round about Maryhill. Librarian: Well, there’s a wee history of it. Reader:...

Disappearing Glasgow: A Photographic Journey

November 18, 2016

All cities are inchoate, none more so than Glasgow. 

Who do you love?

November 18, 2016
by Pat Kane

You can assume that the ambiguity in the title of this dense, lyrical and thrillingly intelligent book has been carefully mused over. I should disclose immediately that I’m in the end credits, along with some other usual suspects, as an early adviser. 

Making a Murderer

November 18, 2016
by Colin Waters

Despite failing to win this year’s Man Booker Prize, Graeme Macrae Burnet won what you might call won the popular vote, dominating media coverage before the actual winner was revealed as The Sellout by Paul Beatty.

Water, Water, Everywhere

November 18, 2016
by John MacLeod

Islands fascinate us. Skye, for many, was indefinably devalued when at last, two decades ago, linked to the mainland by bridge. Many of our islands, once inhabited, are today deserted and forlorn. Scarp and Taransay, for example, off the coast of Harris, supported families into the 1970s.

Our best specimen

November 18, 2016
by Rosemary Goring

It was the opinion of an eminent Scotsman of the times that Lady Anne Barnard was ‘the best specimen Scotland ever sent to London’. This was no small compliment, the roads south clogged with ambitious and talented Scots keen to get ahead by leaving home.

Making Scotland great — again?

November 18, 2016
by David Torrance

Shortly before the second general election of 1974, the late John P. Mackintosh attempted to explain the rise of the Scottish National Party to a predominantly left-wing English audience in an essay for the New Statesman.

Castles and ‘Carbuncles’

November 18, 2016
by Colin Donald

In 1965, accompanied by his formidable permanent secretary, Evelyn Sharp, Richard Crossman, the then housing minister, visited the emerging new town of Cumbernauld. In his diary, the Cotswold-dwelling Labour left winger waxed ecstatic.

A question of art

November 18, 2016
by Tiffany Jenkins

On the 4th of May 1987, a 78-feet straw locomotive was driven on a low-loader, diesel hauler from the former Springburn Locomotive works in Glasgow, the way locomotives had been since the 1940s, and hung from the 174-feet high Finnieston Crane over the Clyde where it swayed in the air for weeks.