10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Scotland, bleak and sad,
By A Customer
This review is from: 1982, Janine (Paperback)
Gray's great second book is much better than the famous Lanark; though quite similar in some of its themes it is tighter, funnier and works more effectively. It concerns an aging security operative, desperately lonely and alcoholic, who is reviewing his life in a small Scottish hotel room. Without spoiling the book for anyone (I hope), he "finds himself" when, despairing at all the missed chances in his life he tries to kill himself and enters a dialogue with God. As an atheist this surprises him! A beautiful vignette of what it is to be Scottish, politically and sexually repressed. Replete with pretend literary notes like Lanark (one of several references to Flann O'Brien which Gray acknowledges), this is by far the better book. Sad though.