This is Memorial Device

David Keenan
Format: Paperback Pages: 304 pages Publisher: Faber & Faber Publication Date: 02/02/2017 Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945) ISBN: 9780571330836
by SRB

Books of the Year 2017 – A Literary Advent Calendar

December 21, 2017 | 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 2017. There will be new selections every day until 21 December — so keep reading for great ideas about what to read next and visit your nearest high street bookshop to purchase your Christmas gifts! Zoe Strachan takes us forward on 21st December.


This has been a fine year for Scottish books. I picked up This is Memorial Device by David Keenan (Faber, £14.99) in a bookshop because I liked the cover and thought the title sounded metafictional and serious. A good decision, as it turned out, and there were more laughs than I’d imagined. I wish it had existed when I was a teenager. Keenan mythologises small-town life in the West of Scotland, when music and reading are your best bet for being transported elsewhere, and your knowledge of obscure local bands made up of the heroically cool contributes significantly to your social and sexual currency. Nostalgic? Certainly. But wonderfully, queasily evocative for those of us who still don’t quite want to acknowledge that we’re grown-ups.


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