McIlvanney's descriptions of the Glasgow streets are powerful, and one sequence, as sidekick Harkness waits outside the Central Hotel, describes, in only 2 pages, the various characters on a Friday night as they enter the Hotel or stagger from bars in one of the best surveys of characters I've read. First published in 1977, this reissue of the stunning first volume of McIllvaney's Scottish crime trilogy introduces Det. Mine came from the Green Metropolis website. Ena still wanted them to be in love again, the way they once were. And this is a magnificent little book.
I am certainly looking forward to reading the remaining two in the series - this has all of the cleverness, gritty description, convincingness and style that I find most enjoyable about the Scottish crime that I read. You imagined that if a launch arrived to rescue him from a desert island, he would have something he had to finish before being taken off. We know immediately who the murderer is, where he is hiding and who is trying to help him and why. Maybe this is how they were doing things back in the groovy seventies in Glasgow! I love books with strong accents, but this one was too difficult for me no matter how hard I focused. Brought up in the Labour movement, he remained a socialist, though one disappointed by the development of the Labour Party in its New Labour identity. Two years before Laidlaw McIlvanney had won the Whitbread Prize for fiction with Docherty, a novel set in a mining community. Scotland will be a poorer place without him, diminished by his departure, though enriched by his memory and his work.
Now that I have read it myself, I can say that I totally agree with this evaluation and I will read as soon as posible the two books McIlvanney wrote after Laidlaw. I found myself getting lost in the witty little back and forths of one-liners sometimes to know who was actually saying what once the players in the dialogue sparring matches were done throwing their jabs and were starting to say important things. The Irishman's background in intelligence and his connection to Monica's husband only raise more questions for Bruno. My own perception is that there's enough variety, joyfulness, integration etc etc in English-language fiction now, that this doesn't matter. Laidlaw's right: you miss everything travelling by car; good old corporation buses and Shanks' pony are the best way to see the Glasgow of old and the only way, if your parents don't own a car. Again there is no mention of Ena. As Fin reconnects with the people and places of his tortured childhood, the beautiful island and its ancient customs once again begin to assert their grip on his psyche.
McIlvanney is a deeply authentic Scottish Glasgow writer and poet who decided in the late 1970's after having written some successful and gritty novels that he could talk about existential decay now through the device of a crime sequence. However, no record exists of either the accident or the reported victim. In the mid-1970s Glasgow was in decline, the tenement slums were at their worst, the shipyards were closing the pubs were rough and the hard men were simply nuts. The writer's elder brother was the sports journalist. The brilliant but unpleasant microbiologist had a genius for making enemies. What other book might you compare Laidlaw to and why? The theme of justice is always entwined with the procedural aspects of a detective story.
Laidlaw is marked by his unconventional methods in tracking the killer, immersing himself in a 1970s Glasgow featuring violence and bigotry. There is quite a lot of discussion of how Laidlaw works and his concerns and feelings about crime, but it kind of left me feeling a bit blah. It was the sententious niceness of the Commander and the threatened abrasiveness of Laidlaw. William McIlvanney died on 5 December 2015 at the age of 79, after a short illness. How you act and what you are and what you do and how you be were the only substance. Jack Laidlaw may be one the most fascinating and simultaneously exasperating, police detective to come along in the genre. And into rarely articulated situations like the abject and divisive isolation of being stranded in the company of a partner and their parents.
This is a world of traditional family structures; strikingly so when I think of how different the situations of various relatives of mine were at the time. I don't even particularly like crime novels hence the four stars rather than five , but this feels like home. And as Detective Michael Fisher knows, the biggest - and bloodiest - manoeuvres are yet to come. He must have had some nights here. I sought out this book after reading several pieces about it on the net and following it with some reviews from Amazon. It's the journey to the solution which is absolutely gripping. My first impression on meeting Detective Inspector Jack Laidlaw was that he is a clone of Martin Beck : slightly alcoholic, broken marriage, taciturn and manic depressive.
As a first book for a series this dark police procedural was well delivered with interesting, complex characters. His use of metaphor is up there wi My first experience of William McIlvanney and quite an experience. Some really great one-liners that will make you smile though. He was a champion of gritty yet poetic literature; his works Laidlaw, The Papers of Tony Veitch, and Walking Wounded are all known for their portrayal of Glasgow in the 1970s. The novels are Laidlaw 1977 ; The Papers of Tony Veitch 1983 and Strange Loyalties 1991. These novels make you think and feel at the same time. His home life is divided between the sheer pleasure he receives from parenting his three children and the sometimes quiet, sometimes not, verbal wars with his wife.
Does it all mean more killings are likely? And Philip Marlowe - now in his 72nd year - is living out his retirement in the terrace bar of the La Fonda hotel. He is married and his three kids at home, but both domestically and professionally he can grate. William Angus McIlvanney was born in Kilmarnock to a mining family on November 25 1936. Harkness is a willing voyeur on this journey through the harsh Glasgow criminal world on a learning curve and finally respecting Laidlaw. Especially into working with a difficult cross-section of the public whilst not feeling as different from them as most colleagues the public might be easier to understand than philistine colleagues.
The story is filled with unexpected similes that work to create a potent atmosphere. His first book, Remedy is None, was published in 196 William McIlvanney was a Scottish writer of novels, short stories, and poetry. My favorite passage is the one that was probably the most likely for the author to get wrong I remember there was an unwritten rule in every 70's crime movie that there must be an explicit sex scene somewhere , showing his hero with the guard down and in the arms of a woman not his wife. On hearing of his death, a number of public figures, including , and , paid tribute noting both his inspirational writing and his likeable and gentlemanly personality. I'm sure those who want to could find things to pick at, but whilst this is an androcentric story, McIlvanney's progressiveness shows not in creating a cast of rare female detectives, but by perceptive glimpses into the viewpoints of different women, some formidable, others crushed:.