Books

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Chrononauts – Mark Millar and Sean Murphy

26 Feb 20154 stars

Time travelling action adventure from writer Mark Millar and artist Sean Murphy

Scottish writer Mark Millar is famed for his edgy action comics. Sharp, satirical and often packed with the old ultra-violence. Through his creator-owned Millarworld imprint, he's launched a plethora of new characters and realities. His work ethic is…

Comic news and new releases – March 2015

26 Feb 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road spin-off and Judge Dredd among March's hottest comics releases

As if we weren’t all bloody excited enough about George Miller’s forthcoming, Tom Hardy-starring sequel to his demented petrolhead dystopiana trilogy, the comic tie-ins have just been announced. Published by DC’s long-standing mature readers imprint…

Entries open for aspiring writer programmes at the London Book Fair

25 Feb 2015

The LBF announces a call for entries for Agent One-to-One and The Write Stuff

The London Book Fair (LBF) is looking for entrants to apply for its Agent One-to-One programme and The Write Stuff competition, both of which offer unique opportunities for aspiring writers. In the Agent One-to-One, authors are given the chance to…

Ewan McGregor to make directorial debut on American Pastoral

19 Feb 2015

Actor takes over from Phillip Noyce, will adapt Philip Roth’s Pulitzer-winning Vietnam-era drama

Ewan McGregor is stepping behind the camera to direct his first feature, an adaptation of Philip Roth’s 1998, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, American Pastoral. McGregor will also star in the film as Levov along with Dakota Fanning and Jennifer…

New Dr Seuss book What Pet Should I Get? discovered

19 Feb 2015

Random House will publish the new title by the Green Eggs and Ham author in July

Random House Children's Books has announced that it is to publish a newly-discovered Dr Seuss book in July. The manuscript for What Pet Should I Get? was discovered by Seuss' wife Audrey Geisel as she was remodelling her home and tells the story of a…

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Mercy Seat – Wayne Price

17 Feb 20154 stars

This gripping debut novel is a bleak meditation on family with tension on every page

This debut novel from one of the most exhilarating short story writers to recently emerge is a bleak and gripping meditation on family, love and lust in a Welsh coastal town. A desire to forget his childhood leads Luke to relocate to work on a farm…

Blast Radius – RL McKinney

16 Feb 20152 stars

Pedestrian tale of a soldier returning from combat fails to stand out from the crowd

The subject of war looms large in literature. Many great novels have explored the difficulties faced by a soldier returning from combat, the issue addressed by RL McKinney in her debut novel. Though the recognisable premise is sensitively handled, this…

Extract: My Dear Bessie, A Love Story in Letters

15 Feb 2015

Chris Barker and Bessie Moore's letters, edited and introduced by Simon Garfield

I first came across Chris and Bessie’s letters in April 2013. I was completing my book To the Letter, a eulogy to the vanishing art of letter-writing, and I was becoming increasingly aware that what my book lacked was, unpredictably, letters. More…

The Books That Made Me: SJ Watson, author of Second Life and Before I Go To Sleep

13 Feb 2015

The former NHS audiologist talks about the books that have influenced his life

SJ Watson burst onto the literary scene in 2011 with Before I Go To Sleep, a dark and disturbing thriller about a woman whose memory is erased whenever she falls asleep. It became a sensation, selling four million copies in over 40 languages and being…

StAnza 2015 boasts a world-class lineup

11 Feb 2015

St Andrews' international poetry festival features Simon Armitage, Bill Manhire and Alice Notley

‘There’s a long tradition of poetry festivals in St Andrews,’ explains Eleanor Livingstone, director of the town’s current incumbent StAnza. ‘It dates back to the 1970s, when the US writer Jay Parini, then studying at St Andrews University, started…

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The Folio Prize announces shortlist of eight books

11 Feb 2015

The book prize shortlist includes works by Ben Lerner, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor and Ali Smith

Now in its second year, The Folio Prize celebrates English language fiction. Entries are welcomed across all forms, genres and from authors from any country, resulting in a diverse collection of works. The original list of 80 books published in the UK…

The Chimes – Anna Smaill

9 Feb 20154 stars

Distinctive debut novel by poet and musician Smaill is full of rhythm, energy and melody

The Chimes is set in a world controlled by a vast instrument that renders people unable to form new memories. Believing in a time before The Chimes is ‘blasphony’, but there are still a few who hold the power to remember. Enter Simon, who has been…

Alasdair Gray: A Life in Progress

6 Feb 20154 stars

Warm and affectionate soundtrack to a documentary about the Glasgow writer and artist

Larbert, Falkirk is home to De-Fence, the electronic offshoot of King Creosote's Fence Records empire, as helmed by sticksman OnTheFly (aka Gavin Brown), and amplified by a stellar back catalogue which counts rare vinyl releases from Malcolm Middleton…

Dead Girl Walking – Chris Brookmyre

3 Feb 20154 stars

Jack Parlabane is back in this fast-paced offering from the Tartan Noir author

Fans of two of the Tartan Noir genre’s most successful authors will be pleased to know that Ian Rankin’s Rebus isn’t the only semi-retired character who has been brought back into full use of late. Although Chris Brookmyre has used a broader collection…

Etta and Otto and Russell and James – Emma Hooper

3 Feb 20153 stars

An endearing, if overly-familiar, debut novel featuring some loveable characters

Parts of Emma Hooper’s debut read like Wes Anderson adapting a Cormac McCarthy novel. She captures the dusty, empty fields of Saskatchewan with the similar staccato rhythm of the All the Pretty Horses author, while imbuing this sweet story – in which 82…

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Kazuo Ishiguro coming to Scotland

20 Jan 2015

Award-winning author of Never Let Me Go set to make rare Edinburgh appearance

Kazuo Ishiguro will be making a rare appearance in Scotland to discuss his highly anticipated brand new novel The Buried Giant at the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh on Thu 5 Mar.

Q&A: Peter May, author of Runaway and The Lewis Trilogy

19 Jan 2015

The writer tells us all about the real-life inspiration behind his new novel

Peter May is an award-winning crime author, and a former writer for classic soap opera Take the High Road. His latest standalone novel, Runaway, swivels between 1965 – when Jack and his band leave Glasgow to make it big in London – and 2015, when they…

The Possibilities – Kaui Hart Hemmings

12 Jan 20153 stars

The author of The Descendants returns with a second novel about grief

Bereavement is a recurrent theme in Kaui Hart Hemmings' work. Her debut novel The Descendants profiles a family as they deal with the loss of a mother and wife, while this latest offering explores the life of Sarah St. John after her son Cully is killed.

Flash Fiction: Venus in Tatters by Lucy Ribchester

5 Jan 2015

A new short story from the author of The Hourglass Factory

He was halfway through a cigarette when the news came through: there had been a slashing. ‘Burns,’ the editor said, his hand on the doorjamb. ‘This is serious.’ He gave details. Her flesh was cut in six long strips, there were bruises, a hatchet used…

Ben Lerner – 10:04

23 Dec 20145 stars

‘Like a poem, is neither fiction nor nonfiction, but a flickering between them’

For an avant-garde poet, Ben Lerner’s first novel Leaving the Atocha Station was a surprise commercial success. Self-referential, mordantly funny, it followed a young American poet on a fellowship in Spain, and was animated less by conventional plot…

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2015 Highlights: Books

17 Dec 2014

Featuring: Iain Banks, Kirsty Logan, Curtis Sittenfeld, John Green and, hopefully, George RR Martin

Iain Banks’ death in 2013 has left a tangible absence in the world of Scottish books, and this new volume of poetry – including many previously unpublished poems – will be welcomed by fans of his work. They have been collected by his friend Ken MacLeod…

John Lees and Iain Laurie – And Then Emily Was Gone

16 Dec 20144 stars

Smart plotting, fresh and genuinely creepy, Lees and Laurie have created a distinctive calling card

‘There’s a world of the screaming impossible all around us, something so far beyond our comprehension that most of us just block it out,’ reveals disfigured village sage Mental Jimmy midway through the tale, adding spine-crawling credence to our…

Philip Teir – The Winter War

12 Dec 20143 stars

Despondent portrait of a divorce, with excellent comic moments

Translated from the original Swedish by Tiina Nunnally, this family drama opens with an acknowledgement of divorce before jumping back to explore the causes. The chapters alternate between the perspectives of four Helsinki family members: fiftysomething…

Private View: Good Press

12 Dec 2014

Rachael Cloughton speaks to Good Press founders, Matthew Walkerdine and Jessica Susan Higgins

Good Press was founded in 2011 to provide a platform for the most innovative and exciting independent art publishing. Alongside zines, prints, artists’ books and newspapers, the space also hosts ‘table-top’ exhibitions, showing the work of local and…

The Hot 100 2014: Top Scottish Books of 2014

11 Dec 2014

Our nation’s literary pedigree remains in rude health

2014 has been a bumper year for Scottish books across the board. Kicking it off in autobiography, actor Alan Cumming’s Not My Father’s Son (Canongate) is moving, funny and a candid story of the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father. Writer and…