Neil DA Stewart - The Glasgow Coma Scale (3 stars)

A confidently-written debut novel depicting a classic odd couple pairing without resorting to cliche

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Neil DA Stewart - The Glasgow Coma Scale

(Corsair)

As she makes her way along Sauchiehall Street one afternoon, call centre manager Lynne is astonished to encounter Angus, her old art teacher (and long-time object of her desire), begging for change in a doorway. Despite his protestations, she insists on taking him home with her, and in the process sets both their lives on a new and unpredictable course.

The Glasgow Coma Scale is an engaging study of two very different but equally lost souls. Lynne has little in her life but a thankless job and a recently dead relationship, while Angus still mourns for his artistic mojo and is locked in a constant battle against alcoholism. Their unlikely friendship is the heart of the story, a classic odd couple pairing – uptight and sensible meets uncouth free-spirit – that never feels clichéd thanks to the insightful characterisation. Angus, in particular, is a delight, always knowing exactly the wrong thing to say in any situation.

Aside from the odd bit of clumsy social commentary and an unsatisfying conclusion, this is a confidently written and enjoyable novel, and well worth checking out.

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