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This review is from: Espedair Street (Paperback)
Espedair Street is narrated by retired songwriter Daniel Weir, as he looks back on his wild days as a member of the world famous rock band Liquid Gold. When we meet him he is living as an eccentric recluse in Glasgow, doing what he can to stay unrecognised and only keeping a few friends who do not know of his past. He tells us of the life of excess, folly and unbridled indulgence, the loneliness and the wild parties. Weir is the odd one out, carrying his ugliness sometimes like a burden, other times like a trump card of comedy. The swirling mess of the incestuous relationships within the band, the drugs, the stadium-sized pyrotechnics contrast sharply with Weir's present-time quiet life, whilst all the time his retrospective wisdom makes the messy end seem inevitable.
And then, in the midst of what you might think is a story of a tired man at the end of his life regretting what has passed, it becomes clear that Weir is only thirty, and that he might get a chance of a new beginning.
This is an uplifting book with a good mix of melancholy and hope. The time of Liquid Gold's heyday sounds electric and destructive, whilst the Weir's current life is dull and grey in comparison, but no less destructive. And all the way through Weir's narration is funny, touching and entertaining. There is a certain something lacking that stops this book delivering a punch that is remembered after you put it down, but a good read none the less.