Tom Docherty was seventeen in the summer of 1955. With school behind him and a summer job at a brick works, Tom had his whole life before him. Years later, alone in a rented flat in Edinburgh and lost in memories, Tom recalls the intellectual and sexual awakening of his youth. In looking back, Tom discovers that only by understanding where he comes from can he make sense of his life as it is now.
“A pitch-perfect blend of warm lyricism, limpid observation and excruciatingly funny comedy. It is a beguilingly brilliant portrait of the artist as an adolescent”
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“On almost every page it offers matter for reflection and the sudden stab of emotion that comes from reading something that is truly evoked or created … It is rare and it is wonderful”
“McIlvanney plumbs, in language of luminous precision, the tortured psyche of the Scottish character. It’s Greek tragedy, hilarious to boot”
mail On Sunday
“The best novel yet from the finest Scottish writer of our time”
daily Telegraph (books Of The Year)
“Delightfully funny … [McIlvanney] is a compassionate writer and leaves an impression both of high seriousness and great charm”
William McIlvanney’s first novel, Remedy is None, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and with Docherty he won the Whitbread Award for Fiction. Laidlaw and The Papers of Tony Veitch both gained Silver Daggers from the Crime Writers’ Association. Strange Loyalties, the third in the Detective Laidlaw trilogy, won the Glasgow Herald’s People’s Prize. He died in December 2015.