scotland

  • Crap Ghosts by Gavin Inglis

     

    The title Crap Ghosts amuses me no end. In a way the complete output of the Living Channel could fit the description Crap Ghosts, as could the majority of recent ghost stories, when stripped of their humour and other contemporary padding. There is a philosophical difference between a crap ghost and a proper ghost, and it is all in the telling. A crap ghost is not a crap ghost story; it’s just that in our spiritless times, all ghosts are to an extent crap, unfashionable as they are. Crap Ghosts is first and foremost the title of a Gavin Inglis book that I bought a long time ago, and have just pullled out to read again.  I'm glad I did.

  • Punk Fiddle by Jim Ferguson

     

    “Bobby is a 30 something Glaswegian who plays pool for money. 

     

    He finds himself waking up in an Edinburgh hospital and tries to piece his life back together. 

     

    In doing so he uncovers the underbelly of post-industrial Scotland.”

     

  • Shop Front by Samuel Best

    samuel best shop front

    There are those years when as a young person all you seem to do is go to your dead end job, visit the pub, and otherwise walk the streets of your depressing home town, cracking on about issues relevant and trivial with your best mates.

    These are the years caught by Samuel Best in Shop Front, published by Fledgling Press

    Aside from introducing the narrator as working in a shop, the title Shop Front evokes that final year at university when the students leave with their  CV and degree presented as their ‘shop front’ to prospective employers.  The title makes me think of visual merchandising: goods or services displayed to highlight their features and benefits.

  • The Curse of Loch Ness by Peter Tremayne

    I have to admit that I am up for pretty much anything when it comes to Loch Ness and the Loch Ness monster.

    It’s a fascination that began early and having spent so much time as a young person on those hallowed shores, generally around the area of Dores, I’ve never given up an interest in the mythical beast, although I can’t say I’ve ever been a believer, even when young.

  • The Red Man Turns to Green by Dickson Telfer

    The strength of The Red Man Turns to Green (which I think is correctly titled ‘the red man turns to green’ as capitalisation isn’t a feature that the author much employs in this great assortment) is in the attention to the finer points of storytelling. 

    If you wanted a straight-up master class on short story writing you could do worse than follow these cues, employed without effort by Dickson Telfer: recognisable characters, sketched confidently, and placed in strong, clear dramatic situations.