I have just read this little number by Bill Mcghee and have got to say i really enjoyed it. It’s set in Glasgow at the time around World War 2 and tells the story of two childhood friends who end up making different decisions and thus taking different paths although their lives remain intertwined. Saying that it’s not much of a redemptive story and it clips along at a fair pace. The lads grow up the hard way in the tough tenements of South Glasgow. Crime is as much a way of life and drinking and we can soon see the stall that has been laid out for us.
One of the lads, Ben, decides he wants to be a local hard man and he goes to make his mark in the violent and merciless streets of Glasgow with his razor. There is plenty of somewhat gratuitous (although i fear alarmingly realistic) razor slashing action and you certainly feel that you wouldn’t mess with Ben if he came calling… He certainly achieves his aims and also manages to bring a whole load of trouble down around his ears. I could easily give away too much if I go on but I would definitely recommend going out to find this one – if only for the Trainspotting style Glaswegian language. Although i spent a few years in Glasgow it still takes a while to work out some what is being said – pretty much like when i was there then!
Apparently the book is something of an autobiography and it certainly seemed authentic enough in it’s own way. I can’t find anything else by Bill McGhee and am therefore led to believe this is his only work. I’d pick up something else by him – if only to see exactly what he’d tackle next.