You'll either love this book or hate it. If you're a Kelman fan then you're sure to love it. It's in the same vein as his more celebrated works - A Disaffection; How Late It Was... - as a working class outcast trawls his way around Glasgow's streets, caught between short stints of work, different family members, friends and enemies.
The protagonist - Tammas - lives with his sister and brother-in-law and spends most of his time gambling after giving up his job. He gambles anywhere, at the dog track, in the bookies, in the casino - as it seems to offer him the only consolation in his otherwise aimless life, but strangely Tammas isn't in it for the cash. While he seems to enjoy winning, when he does he takes equal pleasure in either giving it away or putting it all on another horse.
For Tammas gambling is more a way of coming to understand life, as he reveals in the final pages. It leads him to understand that in life, as in the betting shop, there comes a point when you have to make a choice and stick to it, along with whatever consequences it brings.
There's a lot for fans of existentialist literature here, particularly Camus and Beckett.
But if you're a fan of plot-driven, pacy literature, then you best try elsewhere. This is a slow-burning book about the workings of a man's mind, rather than the events that happen outside of him.