The opening sentence promises, and threatens, equally. "The Nephew was lain silent atop the paper sacks of pony nuts near the roof of the agric supply warehouse, dreaming about ghost bags, when his mobile diddled 'Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves'". From this arch but poetic introduction Warner spins a strange, eerie, brutish, edgy, kinetic, voluptuous story, set in his usual sodden and hallucinatory Scotland-on-steroids. The characters are a motley crew of misfits, lordlings, computer geeks, scribblers, and Caledonian soaks, with names like Raincheck, Macushla, Jaxter, Hacker, Syrupy Piece, Tracy the Trolley, and Brian. Together and apart these strange creatures wander the lochs and braes of Auld Scotland doing drugs, each other, and occasional disservices to the English language.
What is it about? That's a bit harder to say. The themes are the perennial Warner ones: blurred identity, rustic quirkiness, the intrusion of the surreal. There are many stunning moments of sly, shocking, vivid, Warnerian beauty; there are also a few moments of lazy underwriting, and overheated imagining. Somewhere among all this glory and disorder is probably a serious take on what it means to be a whole human being in late-capitalist Europe. This is deeply, deeply intriguing.--Sean Thomas
"Nobody takes literary and inventive risks that pay off quite like Warner's do... The book is an immense pleasure" (Ali Smith Guardian)
"Warner is unique and treasurable" (Daily Telegraph)
"A triumph of blackly comic modern gothic... Warner's a brilliant writer and his wild imagination is captured in prose of demented lyricism" (Big Issue)
"The Man Who Walks confirms this Scot as one of the most unusual and provocative writers working this side of the Atlantic" (New Statesman)