Books about Glasgow

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Books about Glasgow

Postby Fat Cat » Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:45 pm

I've just finished reading a book called Night Song of the Last Tram by Robert Douglas about a boy's childhood in Maryhill.

It's a great read and I'd recommend it.

Anyone got any other recommendations?

Ta
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Postby HollowHorn » Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:46 pm

Not about Glasgow but its about steam trains, torture, east fife & redemption through forgiveness :?

"The Railway Man" by Eric Lomax.
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Postby glasgowken » Sat Apr 22, 2006 6:42 am

"The Thin Blue Line" the history of the City of Glasgow Police is quite a good read. It was written in the 70's by a retired Inspector, so it's a little bit cosy, not for the ACAB, or lefty social warrior types ::):

Still with the Polis, "The Big Men" is a more down to earth account of the Glasgow Police, and a better read I feel. It's from the point of view of the beat coppers themselves, and their experiences on the streets :wink:
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Postby pamd » Sat Apr 22, 2006 7:33 am

Not a book, but an excellent film - Ratcatcher.

"The squalid council estates of Glasgow, mid-’70s. While a dustmen’s strike grinds on, life at home for 12-year-old James Gillespie (Eadie) is intolerable. His father’s a drunken slob, his mother under pressure, and James himself is hiding a terrible secret about an accident in the local canal. To distance himself, he befriends 14-year-old Margaret Anne (Mullen), steals some money and rides the bus out into the countryside… "

From memory I think this is filmed around the Summerston area - at least I recognised the buses! The whole feel was one of community and repression. I loved it.
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Postby viceroy » Sat Apr 22, 2006 9:20 am

On the subject of the police, a very good read is "The Crime Pond", the memoirs of William Muncie, formerly Assistant Chief Constable of the Strathclyde Police, published in 1979. As Detective Chief Superintendent Muncie he was responsible for hunting down Peter Manuel in the 1950's ['The most evil person I have ever met', he says]. Muncie was actually in the Lanarkshire Constabulary rather than the City of Glasgow Police, but I think we can stretch a point here.

By the way pamd, ref your posts on the Andrea Hedger murder, I was at the Mitchell the other day looking through their microfilm collection of old newspapers to see what I could find about this case. When I get a chance I'll write up my notes and post something on the Murder Mystery thread [I know this was not a 'mystery' as such but this thread seems the best place for it].
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Re: Books about Glasgow

Postby Tamandee » Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:28 am

Fat Cat wrote:I've just finished reading a book called Night Song of the Last Tram by Robert Douglas about a boy's childhood in Maryhill.

It's a great read and I'd recommend it.

Anyone got any other recommendations?

Ta

My husband bought me that book (I'm a Maryhillbilly). I thoroughly enjoyed it. Laughed, cried, laughed and cried all the way through. He is a bit older than me but so much of it reminded me of growing up in Maryhill in the '60s. It's such a huge difference to today. Beautifully written. I look forward to reading his next one -- hope his faither gets his! :twisted:
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Postby pamd » Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:12 pm

viceroy wrote:By the way pamd, ref your posts on the Andrea Hedger murder, I was at the Mitchell the other day looking through their microfilm collection of old newspapers to see what I could find about this case. When I get a chance I'll write up my notes and post something on the Murder Mystery thread [I know this was not a 'mystery' as such but this thread seems the best place for it].


Thats really kind of you - thanks very much!
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Postby Armadillo » Sat Apr 22, 2006 7:39 pm

For Glasgow in fiction, I reckon you can't beat Willie McIlvanney's original detective novels Laidlaw and The Papers of Tony Veitch. As somebody pointed out elsewhere on HG, Laidlaw was a forerunner of both Taggart and Rebus - but somehow McIlvanney never got the recognition for the character that he deserved. The books are very evocative of a certain period - late 70s/early 80s. And Veitch has the killer opening line:

"It was Glasgow on a Friday night - the city of the stare".
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Postby engineer » Sun Apr 23, 2006 7:26 pm

i heard about a book written by a glasgow ambulanceman which was supposed to be good. anyone know what it is?
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Postby Bingo Bango » Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:49 am

thats a coinceidence, just picked nightsong up myself the other day and had a wee start on it - looks really good so far!

still on trams, but a slightly different tone is 'cumoanangetaff!'

a wee thin book with funny stories, interspersed by one liners from a glasgow tramcar clippie in the 60's.

Its a funny read, maybe keep it in the bog and youll be through it in a few sittings, so to speak!
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Postby Toaster » Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:03 pm

Bit on the arty side for some folk maybe, but half of Alistair Gray's Lanark is set in Glasgow. The other half is set in a fictional not-at-all parallel city called Provan, where the administrators talk a lot and do nothing, and buildings disappear or change usage inexplicably and regularly.

Some folk reckon the book is to Glasgow what James Joyce' Ulysses is to Dublin.
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Postby Socceroo » Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:14 pm

Lanark is hard going to read. Tried it a couple of times but always put it down before long.
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Postby ronson » Tue Apr 25, 2006 9:34 am

'Buddha Da' by Anne Donovan is quite an entertaining and different kind of story based in Glasgow. I liked it because it reminded of the meditation courses I did at the Glasgow Buddhist Centre in Sauchiehall Street years ago. That wonderful shrine room is definitely a real piece of 'Hidden Glasgow'.
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Postby JayKay » Tue Apr 25, 2006 10:58 am

"Vellum" by Hal Duncan is the most recent Glasgow set book I've read. I've seen Glasgow University Library in a whole new light since.

Those who found Lanark - a favourite round these parts - heavy going may prefer to steer clear and read something less headstretching instead.
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Postby Sydney Rosewater » Tue Apr 25, 2006 7:10 pm

Toaster wrote:a fictional not-at-all parallel city called Provan, where the administrators talk a lot and do nothing, and buildings disappear or change usage inexplicably and regularly.


That's the paralell city of Unthank yer thinkin of chief, Provan is yet another weird paralell sorta place that crops up briefly.
Unthank's like a weird nightmare version of Glasgow where it's always dark. Sorry to be a pedant.

His Poor Things novel is set in Victorian Glasgow.
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