- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: ThunderPoint Publishing Limited (28 Oct. 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0992976871
- ISBN-13: 978-0992976873
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 820,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Talk of the Toun Paperback – 28 Oct 2015
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a thoroughly original and convincing book. Right from the beginning, Angela and Lorraine light up the page. They occupy it, as does the reader. I was there, remembering how I sometimes felt about myself when I was a teenager. Because the themes in this book are universal and when you were a teenager isn’t the point. It’s the recognisable vulnerability of the two central characters that makes the story - in spite of its colloquial dialect - such a readable book.
Writing in vernacular is always risky. The author has pulled it off with aplomb. I loved the challenge of the dialogue (which quickly became second nature anyway.) I loved the bleakness and the humour; the tragedy, the sense of redemption and the sheer audacity of this book.
Angela and Lorraine, best friends and co-conspirators; embarking on life after school in 80s Scotland, on the wrong side of the tracks. This is blighted, black comedy at its finest.
A highly recommended début from a talented writer.
The whole story line is set around Angela and her friendship with her life long friend, Lorraine. I have to admit as characters go I wasn't really taken with any of them, the only character I really liked was Angela's gran. She is a wonderful character and you know if you ever had a problem she would be the one you would turn to. Even though she is a lot older than the rest of the people in Angela's life she is a lot wiser and there is a lovely bond between both of them.
The age that Angela and Lorraine are in the story is an age where a lot of us can probably relate to it being not the easiest of ages. For me, Angela and Lorraine came across as both being a bit selfish, but hey who wasn't in their teens? Angela did remind me slightly of myself at that age. It was always my friends that were the popular ones with boys as is the case with Lorraine being the popular one. You could easily relate to the frustration that Angela felt at being suddenly left out in the cold as her friend is all loved up and through Lorraine's new relationship she starts to hang around with other girls and pretty much ignores Angela.
It is sad when friendships drift apart, especially as in the case of Angela and Lorraine who have been best friends all through their school life.Read more ›
If, like me, you were a child of the 80s and fancy a trip down memory lane that will make you smile, laugh and possibly cry a little, you should definitely get yourself a copy of The Talk of the Toun.
(My thanks to the author who offered me a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.)
I did really enjoy reading it. There is quite a bit of colloquial Scottish dialect but I found it easy enough to understand as I read ‘The Broons Annual’ (a Scottish publication), the dialect isn’t that far removed from the North Eastern English dialect and my Mam’s former best friend spoke broad Glaswegian.
The main characters in this book were well portrayed. At times I wanted to give Angela a good shake by her shoulders. She is a typical teenager in that she thinks that the whole world revolves around her. In other words only Angela matters, she treats adults and her parents like dirt and as though they are stupid, which is far from the case. She doesn’t listen to the views of others nor does she appreciate them. Angela doesn’t seem to appreciate that actions have consequences and what happens or what is said can’t be undone. Angela doesn’t appreciate how other might feel and thinks that she is the most important person. I sensed that Angela was best friends with Lorraine but she was also jealous of her in that Lorraine lives in more comfortable surroundings, Lorraine is thin, pretty and popular. Angela thinks that she is an adult where in reality she is an immature child.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is absolutely brilliant - hilariously written, black humour and a lot of heart. The characters were very rounded and I found myself really drawn in to the story and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by ceri boyd
Some books have that quality of writing that can pull you in from the first page and 'Talk of the Toun' is a perfect example of that. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Cromarty Forth Tyne
Talk of the Toun is a brilliant, bitter-sweet evocation of the highs and lows of life as a teenage girl in 1980s Scotland. Read morePublished 7 months ago by M & P
Helen McKinven can write. The story was gripping and the characters believable. I felt the character of the grandmother could have been developed further, especially the pet... Read morePublished 8 months ago by foreva
I've just finished reading Talk of the Toun, it was BRILLIANT!! I was poorless laughing, the Denny/Bonnybridge/Fawkirk chat was first class. Read morePublished 10 months ago by K
A fantastic book about growing up in the 80s. It dealt with some very deep issues in a very readable way.Published 11 months ago by E FULFORD
As a native Irish person, 'Talk of the Toun' is the first book I've read written entirely in the Scottish vernacular, and I have to say it's a lot easier a read than I imagined it... Read morePublished 11 months ago by T Scully
An engaging and entertaining book; please note that my four stars would equate to the fives of many other reviewers. I love the main character, Angela. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Suzanne Egerton
Buy this book today-you won't regret it! Helen's blog A Way with Words is aptly named. This book evoked memories I forgot I even had of 1980s Central Scotland, yet the themes... Read morePublished 12 months ago by VeronicaC