The Big Man

William McIlvanney

The Big Man by William McIlvanney (eBook ISBN 9781782111955) book cover

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‘Like Docherty, another masterpiece’ The Scotsman


The big man is Dan Scoular, a legend of physical prowess in a decaying Ayrshire mining community. When a bare-knuckle fight offers both money and a purpose, he finds it turns into a monumental struggle to keep his heritage and integrity intact.

“Inspiring and harshly funny. As in Orwell at his fiercest best, McIlvanney’s outrage is all the more potent for being tranquil. Grand fiction that reads as truly as fact”
mail On Sunday

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“A vivid transcription of a small town and the people who live there … Wry, funny, tender, largely unsentimental and very readable”
the Times

“Confirms his reputation as the most incisive observer of working-class Scottish life”

William McIlvanney

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.