Poor Things won the Whitbread Novel Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize 'A great writer, perhaps the greatest living in Britain today' Will Self
Alasdair Gray is the author of LANARK, the Whitbread and Guardian prize-winning novel POOR THINGS and the story-collection, TEN TALES TALL AND TRUE among many other writings. His most recent work was the highly-acclaimed THE BOOK OF PREFACES, published by Bloomsbury.
The truthful tales are better than the tall ones in this rambunctious collection by the Scottish author of the well-received Poor Things. The title itself is a whopper: there are 12 stories, a prologue and an epilogue. The humorous entries range from silly to archly playful. ``The Marriage Feast'' parodies Kingsley Amis's account of a run-in with Dylan Thomas, casting Christ in the mad poet's role. In ``The Trendelenburg Position,'' a dentist muses on the possibilities of virtual reality to a prone (and silent) patient. ``Near the Driver'' takes a mocking look at Britain's railroad future, in which computer-controlled trains announce precisely when they will crash. These pieces are amusing enough, but when Gray lays aside his trademark wit to deal with characters in his native Scotland (``Houses & Small Labour Parties'' and ``You'') or to tenderly portray an elderly botanist (``Time Travel''), his deft prose and thoughtful insights render the cleverness of the other tales a bit shallow in comparison. Gray's witty touch is also evident in the quirky black-and-white drawings interspersed with the text. (Mar.)
'The greatest Scottish novelist since Sir Walter Scott' Anthony Burgess 'He is our nearest contemporary equivalent to Blake, our sweetest-natured screwed-up visionary' Evening Standard