Reviews

Dancing to the Devil’s Music

August 10, 2016
by Alasdair McKillop

Paul Mason continues to be much in the news despite having left his job as the Economics Editor at Channel 4. He is an itinerant prophet of post-capitalism and high-profile supporter of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party.

No Belles de Jour Here

August 10, 2016
by Anni Donaldson

Whilst history may be one of the oldest scholarly disciplines, it has, until more recent times mostly averted its gaze from that other so-called ‘oldest profession’, prostitution, particularly in the Scottish context.

In the Zone

August 10, 2016
by Colin Waters

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?’ The title of Paul Gauguin’s 1897 painting sounds like a series of questions plucked from Philosophy 101 – until you reach middle age.

God Bothering

August 10, 2016
by Brian Morton

In George Eliot’s Middlemarch, Edward Casaubon laboured fruitlessly for many years over The Key To All Mythologies. Richard Holloway knocks it off in just 237 pages.

Picture This

August 10, 2016
by Lesley Glaister

Memo for Spring, Liz Lochhead’s debut collection of poems, won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award in 1972, the first in a succession of awards and honours to follow her down the years.

The Shock of the Old

August 10, 2016
by Tiffany Jenkins

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No Statues to Critics

August 10, 2016
by Joseph Farrell

The late Robert David MacDonald, director, playwright, translator and one of the trio who ran the Citizens’ Theatre in the days which have already receded into myth, liked to say that they do not erect statues to critics. And indeed they do not, but critics play their part in having statues erected...

Road to Somewhere

August 10, 2016
by Todd McEwen

Murdo MacArthur loses his mother and sister within a short space of time. He and his Dad lead an increasingly silent life. Dad, in his grief, seems to Murdo like one big No. Dad loses track of Murdo, even though they’re in the same house. Forgets to give him pocket money.

A Question of Trust

August 10, 2016
by Dani Garavelli

Though the blurb describes James Robertson’s To Be Continued as a madcap adventure, I turned over the first page with all the gaiety of a blobfish caught in a trawler’s net. Its main character, Douglas Findhorn Elder, is a middle-aged journalist in the grip of an existential crisis brought on by...

Sweet and Sour

August 10, 2016
by Rosemary Goring

Jon Sigurdsson, a senior civil servant in Whitehall, begins the day in which this long novel takes place, trying to save a fledgling blackbird. It is a summer’s morning, shortly before seven, and he is attempting to disentangle it from the netting in his ex-wife’s garden. Trying to keep the little...