Adam Mars-Jones

Flash Shallows

The Fall of Kelvin Walker


Canongate Publishing 144pp £7.95 order from our bookshop

Alisdair Gray’s first published novel was the mighty Lanark, which combined the life story of a young Glasgow artist with the fantastic adventures of a man called Lanark on a number of inhospitable planets. The universe it describes is in flux, but has some reliable principles: energy, for instance, is always acquired at someone’s expense. Last year’s 1982 Janine was more consistently located, in the head of a sadomasochistic superviser of security installations trying to drink his memories away in a Scottish provincial hotel, but similar ideas were present; Scotland was viewed as a giant security installation itself, packed with English warheads, and as a slave who had come to enjoy the state of bondage.

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