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

Neil DA Stewart - The Glasgow Coma Scale

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


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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