Helpful votes received on reviews: 96% (74 of 77)
Location: Scotland


Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,570,227 - Total Helpful Votes: 74 of 77
The Smiling School for Calvinists by Bill Duncan
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dante in Dundee, 20 May 2001
Hugh MacDiarmid wrote that if Dante had visited Dundee before he wrote the Divine Comedy, he'd have stuck another layer in Hell. If Borges had grown up in a council flat in Dundee, he might just have written stories like these. The Smiling School for Calvinists is a series of hilarious, surreal, poignant, remarkable stories linking a spurious history of the fishing industry in Broughty Ferry to an equally spurious description of life in the Dundee multis - the Blackness Towers. But this book is much more than a collection of funny tales. This is magical realism brought to Tayside. Duncan uses job descriptions, spoof newspaper articles and extracts from a museum catalogue to construct a… Read more
Strong Words: Modern Poets on Modern Poetry by W. N. Herbert
69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
I have an old dog-eared copy of James Scully's 'Modern Poets on Modern Poetry' to which I have returned continuously over the years, as a dog to its bowl. But where Scully left off - with Charles Olson, Strong Words is just beginning. Not only does it add fifty badly needed years to this anthology of prose writings on poetry, but it also takes the brave, challenging step of mixing existing work with pieces commissioned from some of the finest contemporary writers - what the editors describe as 'the explicit manifesto and the unguarded moment.' Editors Herbert and Hollis are themselves poets of some considerable repute and though I would have liked to have seen a more even balance between… Read more

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