Call Billy

Sam McColl
McEllisons £8.99
by SRB

Books of the Year 2018- A Literary Advent Calendar

December 12, 2018 | by SRB


We’ve asked Scotland’s leading writers, booksellers, festival directors and critics to pick one, or two, books — published this year or in the past — that they most enjoyed reading in 2018. There will be new selections every day throughout December — so keep reading for great ideas about what to read next and visit your nearest high street bookshop to purchase your Christmas gifts! Today’s selection is from Hayden Westfield-Bell.

I’ve spent a great deal of my time this year reading through the dusty books on my bookshelf – the books you’ve always wanted to read, but never seem to have the time to engage with. However, last month I managed to pull free from the old tomes a book published this year; Sam McColl’s Call Billy. Part-drama part-domestic thriller, it was a far cry from my genre of choice; science fiction. Yet two hundred pages passed between my fingers in an instant, and suddenly my eight hour marathon of a train journey to East Anglia had been reduced to two. McColl expertly weaves together the actions of a family torn apart by a curious mixture of lust and apathy, and as the chapters shuffle from parent to lover to parent to daughter you feel your sympathies challenged wrenched from one character to another. This is fiction so real as to be non-fiction.

Having participated in the Emerging Critics programmes in 2017, Hayden Westfield-Bell is now focusing his efforts on completing his first novel. Early this year he realised he as not reading as much as he should be, and now reads a book a month and documents his experiences on Find him on Twitter @wickertongue.

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