Shortlisted for the 2015 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comic fiction
A rampaging force of nature is wreaking havoc on the streets of Edinburgh, but has top shagger, drug-dealer, gonzo-porn-star and taxi-driver, ‘Juice’ Terry Lawson, finally met his match in Hurricane ‘Bawbag’?
Can Terry discover the fate of the missing beauty, Jinty Magdalen, and keep her idiot-savant lover, the man-child Wee Jonty, out of prison?
Will he find out the real motives of unscrupulous American businessman and reality-TV star, Ronald Checker?
And, crucially, will Terry be able to negotiate life after a terrible event robs him of his sexual virility, and can a new fascination for the game of golf help him to live without… A DECENT RIDE?
A Decent Ride sees Irvine Welsh back on home turf, leaving us in the capable hands of one of his most compelling and popular characters, ‘Juice’ Terry Lawson, and introducing another bound for cult status, Wee Jonty MacKay: a man with the genitals and brain of a donkey.
In his funniest, filthiest book yet, Irvine Welsh celebrates an un-reconstructed misogynist hustler – a central character who is shameless but also, oddly, decent –and finds new ways of making wild comedy out of fantastically dark material, taking on some of the last taboos. So fasten your seatbelts, because this is one ride that could certainly get a little bumpy…
Alexander McCall Smith - Friends, Lovers, Chocolate
In this second novel in the Sunday Philosophy Club, Isabel Dalhousie’s niece, Cat (she of the unsuitable boyfriends) is invited to a wedding in Italy. This means that Isabel is left in charge of Cat’s delicatessen – a task to which the redoutable moral philosopher proves more than equal. She is intrigued by the customers, of course, given her irrepressible tendency to take an interest in the business of others, and one man in particular attracts her attention. He is recovering from heart surgery – a heart transplant in fact – and when Isabel gets to know him a bit better he reveals an extraordinary aspect of being the recipient of another’s heart. Isabel is drawn into an investigation of the facts behind the transplant, with disturbing results. Her enquiries take time, but not so much time as to prevent romantic entanglements, both for Isabel and her housekeeper, Grace. And as for chocolate – that proves to have some very interesting philosophical ramifications – at least in the mind of Isabel Dalhousie. Chocolate is a moral problem, it transpires – invoking questions of temptation and, of course, human weakness. We are all weak when it comes to chocolate, Isabel decides – should we just accept the fact and get on with it?
Iain Banks - Canal Dreams
Hisako Onoda, world famous cellist, refuses to fly. And so she travels to Europe as a passenger on a tanker bound through the Panama Canal. But Panama is a country whose politics are as volatile as the local freedom fighters. When Hisako's ship is captured, it is not long before the atmosphere is as flammable as an oxy-acetylene torch, and the tension as sharp as the spike on her cello. _Canal Dreams_ is a novel of deceptive simplicity and dark, original power: stark psychological insights mesh with vividly realised scenarios in an ominous projection of global realpolitik. The result is yet another major landmark in the quite remarkable career of an outstanding modern novelist.
Ian Rankin - Resurrection Men
Rebus is off the case literally. A few days into a murder inquiry following the brutal death of an Edinburgh art dealer, Rebus blows up at DCS Gill Templer. He is sent to the Scottish Police College for 'retraining' in other words, he's in the Last Chance Saloon. Rebus is given an old, unsolved case to work on, in order to teach him and others the merits of teamwork. But there are those in the team who have their own secrets and they'll stop at nothing to protect them. As if this wasn't enough, Rebus is asked to act as a go between for gangster 'Big Ger' Cafferty. And as newly promoted DS Siobhan Clarke works the case of the murdered art dealer, she is brought closer to Cafferty than she could ever have anticipated ...
Ali Smith - There but for the
Imagine you give a dinner party and a friend of a friend brings a stranger to your house as his guest. He seems pleasant enough. Imagine that this stranger goes upstairs halfway through the dinner party and locks himself in one of your bedrooms and won't come out. Imagine you can't move him for days, weeks, months. If ever. This is what Miles does, in a chichi house in the historic borough of Greenwich, in the year 2009--10, in There but for the. Who is Miles, then? And what does it mean, exactly, to live with other people? Sharply satirical and sharply compassionate, with an eye to the meanings of the smallest of words and the slightest of resonances, There but for the fuses disparate perspectives in a crucially communal expression of identity and explores our very human attempts to navigate between despair and hope, enormity and intimacy, cliché and grace. Ali Smith's dazzling new novel is a funny, moving book about time, memory, thought, presence, quietness in a noisy time, and the importance of hearing ourselves think.
Ian Rankin - Doors Open
For the right man, all doors are open... Mike Mackenzie is a self-made man with too much time on his hands and a bit of the devil in his soul. He is looking for something to liven up the days and perhaps give new meaning to his existence. A chance encounter at an art auction offers him the opportunity to do just that as he settles on a plot to commit a 'perfect crime'. He intends to rip-off one of the most high-profile targets in the capital - the National Gallery of Scotland. So, together with two close friends from the art world, he devises a plan to a lift some of the most valuable artwork around. But of course, the real trick is to rob the place for all its worth whilst persuading the world that no crime was ever committed. But soon after he enters the dark waters of the criminal underworld he realises that it's very easy to drown...
Ian Rankin - The Hanging Garden
Detective Inspector Rebus is buried under a pile of paperwork generated by his investigations into a suspected war criminal. But an escalating dispute between the upstart Tommy Telford and Big Ger Cafferty's gang gives Rebus an escape clause. Telford is known to have close links with a Newcastle gangster nicknamed Mr Pink Eyes - a Chechen bringing refugees into Britain as prostitutes. When Rebus takes under his wing a distraught Bosnian call girl, it gives him a personal reason to make sure Telford takes the high road back to Paisley and pronto. Then Rebus's daughter is the victim of an all too professional hit-and-run and Rebus knows that now there is nothing he wouldn't do to bring down prime suspect Tommy Telford - even if it means cutting a deal with the devil.
Alexander McCall Smith - The Sunday Philosophy Club
Amateur sleuth Isabel Dalhousie is a philosopher who also uses her training to solve unusual mysteries. Isabel is Editor of the Review of Applied Ethics - which addresses such questions as 'Truth telling in sexual relationships' - and she also hosts The Sunday Philosophy Club at her house in Edinburgh. Behind the city's Georgian facades its moral compasses are spinning with greed, dishonesty and murderous intent. Instinct tells Isabel that the young man who tumbled to his death in front of her eyes at a concert in the Usher Hall didn't fall. He was pushed. With Isabel Dalhousie Alexander McCall Smith introduces a new and pneumatic female sleuth to tackle murder, mayhem - and the mysteries of life. As her hero WH Auden maintained, classic detective fiction stems from a desire for an uncorrupted Eden which the detective, as an agent of God, can return to us. But then Isabel, being a philosopher, has a thing or two to say about God as well.
Sara Crowe - Campari for Breakfast
_Life is full of terrible things. Ghosts of dead relatives, heartbreak . . . burnt toast._ In 1987, Sue Bowl's world changes for ever. Her mother dies, leaving her feeling like she’s lost a vital part of herself. And then her father shacks up with an awful golddigger called Ivana. But Sue’s mother always told her to make the most of what she’s got – and what she’s got is a love of writing and some interesting relatives. So Sue moves to her Aunt Coral’s crumbling ancestral home, Green Place, along with a growing bunch of oddballs and eccentrics. Not to mention the odd badger or two . . .
Alexander McCall Smith - Love Over Scotland
The irresistible third entry to the 44 Scotland Street series picks up with the residents of 44 Scotland Street where Espresso Tales left off and is as addictive as any book McCall Smith has written. Anthropologist Domenica has flown off to the Straits of Malacca to study modern-day pirates. Back in Edinburgh, Pat moves from 44 Scotland Street and develops a crush on fellow art student Wolf, whose strange ways hint at a darker subplot that involves Pat's flatmate. Pat moves in with gallery owner Matthew, who struggles with both a sudden fortune and a yearning for Pat. Meanwhile, child prodigy saxophonist Bertie becomes a reluctant member of the Edinburgh Teenage Orchestra at age six and later, on a trip to Paris, finds himself wonderfully unsupervised. Poet/portrait painter Angus is tormented by the theft of his beloved dog Cyrus. The proceedings sparkle with McCall Smith's trademark wit (It was not always fun being a child, just as it had not always been fun being a medieval Scottish saint), proving once again, he's a true treasure. Illustrations by Iain McIntosh enliven the text.
James Robertson - And the Land Lay Still
"And the Land Lay Still" is the sweeping Scottish epic by James Robertson. "And the Land Lay Still" is nothing less than the story of a nation. James Robertson's breathtaking novel is a portrait of modern Scotland as seen through the eyes of natives and immigrants, journalists and politicians, drop-outs and spooks, all trying to make their way through a country in the throes of great and rapid change. It is a moving, sweeping story of family, friendship, struggle and hope - epic in every sense. The winner of the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award 2010, "And the Land Lay Still" is a masterful insight into Scotland's history in the twentieth century and a moving, beautifully written novel of intertwined stories. "Toweringly ambitious, virtually flawlessly realized, a masterpiece and, without a doubt, my book of the year". ("Daily Mail"). "A jam-packed, dizzying piece of fiction". ("Scotland on Sunday"). "Gripping, vivid, beautifully realized". ("The Times"). "Engrossing". ("Daily Telegraph"). "Powerful and moving. A brilliant and multifaceted saga of Scottish life in the second half of the twentieth century". ("Sunday Times"). "Brilliant and thoughtful. Eminently readable, subtle and profound". ("Independent on Sunday"). "Bold, discursive and deep, Robertson's sweeping history of life and politics in 20th-century Scotland should not be ignored". (Ian Rankin, "Observer Books of the Year"). James Robertson is the author of three previous novels: "The Fanatic", "Joseph Knight" and "The Testament of Gideon Mack", which is available in Penguin. Joseph Knight was awarded the two major Scottish literary awards in 2003/4 - the Saltire Book of the Year and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year - and The Testament of Gideon Mack was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, picked by Richard and Judy's Book Club, and shortlisted for the Saltire Book of the Year award.
Irvine Welsh - Trainspotting (angol)
Mark Renton is a very sick young man, sick of heroin, sick of trying to get off it. Most of us, he's sick of himself, his friends and growing up in the AIDS/HIV capital of Europe. The nihilistic youth sees nothing ahead in the future: 'Choose mortgage payments; choose washing machines; choose cars; choose sitting oan a couch watching mind-numbing and spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fuckin junk food intae yir mooth. Choose rotting away, pishing and shiteing yersel in a home, a total fuckin embarrassment tae the selfish, fucked-up brats ye've produced. Choose life.' Trainspotting became an instant classic howl of rage, despair and style from the Scottish capital's forgotten streets that would be heard all over the world.
Ian Rankin - The Flood
Mary Miller had always been an outcast. As a child, fell into the hot burn - a torrent of warm chemical run-off from the local coal mine - and her hair turned white. Initially she was treated with sympathy, but all that changed a few days later when the young man who pushed her in died in an accident. Now, many years later, Mary is a single mother caught up in a faltering affair. Her son, Sandy, has fallen in love with a strange homeless girl - and both mother and son are forced to come to terms with a dark secret from Mary's past.
Iain Banks - The Business
Kate Telman is a senior executive officer in The Business, a powerful and massively discreet transglobal organisation. Financially transparent, internally democratic and disavowing conventional familial inheritance, the character of The Business seems, even to Kate, to be vague to the point of invisibility. It possesses, allegedly, a book of Leonardo cartoons, several sets of Crown Jewels and wants to buy its own State in order to acquire a seat at the United Nations. Kate's job is to keep abreast of current technological developments and her global reach encompasses Silicon Valley, a ranch in Nebraska, the firm's secretive Swiss headquarters, and a remote Himalayan principality. In the course of her journey Kate must peel away layers of emotional insulation and the assumptions of a lifetime. She must learn to keep her world at arm's length. To take control, she has to do The Business.
Iain Banks - Stonemouth
Stewart Gilmour is back in Stonemouth. After five years in exile his presence is required at the funeral of patriarch Joe Murston, and even though the last time Stu saw the Murstons he was running for his life, staying away might be even more dangerous than turning up. An estuary town north of Aberdeen, Stonemouth, with it's five mile beach, can be beautiful on a sunny day. On a bleak one it can seem to offer little more than seafog, gangsters, cheap drugs and a suspension bridge irresistible to suicides. And although there's supposed to be a temporary truce between Stewart and the town's biggest crime family, it's soon clear that only Stewart is taking this promise of peace seriously. Before long a quick drop into the cold grey Stoun begins to look like the soft option, and as he steps back into the minefield of his past to confront his guilt and all that it has lost him, Stu uncovers ever darker stories, and his homecoming takes a more lethal turn than even he had anticipated. Tough, funny, fast-paced and touching, Stonemouth cracks open adolescence, love, brotherhood and vengeance in a rite of passage novel like no other.
Ian Rankin - Fleshmarket Close
An illegal immigrant is found murdered in an Edinburgh housing scheme: a racist attack, or something else entirely? Rebus is drawn into the case, but has other problems: his old police station has closed for business, and his masters would rather he retire than stick around. But Rebus is that most stubborn of creatures. As Rebus investigates, he must visit an asylum seekers' detention centre, deal with the sleazy Edinburgh underworld, and maybe even fall in love...Siobhan meanwhile has problems of her own. A teenager has disappeared from home and Siobhan is drawn into helping the family, which will mean travelling closer than is healthy towards the web of a convicted rapist. Then there's the small matter of the two skeletons - a woman and an infant - found buried beneath a concrete cellar floor in Fleshmarket Close. The scene begins to look like an elaborate stunt - but whose, and for what purpose?
Ian Rankin - The Falls
A student has gone missing in Edinburgh. She's not just any student, though, but the daughter of well-to-do and influential bankers. There's almost nothing to go on until DI John Rebus gets an unmistakable gut feeling that there's more to this than just another runaway spaced out on unaccustomed freedom. Two leads emerge: a carved wooden doll in a toy coffin, found in the student's home village, and an internet role-playing game. The ancient and the modern, brought together by uncomfortable circumstance...
Alexander McCall Smith - The Unbearable Lightness of Scones
To the casual observer, the great enlightened city of Edinburgh, home of no-nonsense philosophers and cream teas, might appear immune to the rollercoaster of strong emotions. But at 44 Scotland Street, as Matthew and Elspeth embark on the risky enterprise of married love, the raffish portrait painter Angus Lordie has a premonition of disaster. And soon enough Irene Pollock is shocked to learn that her small son Bertie harbours a highly unsuitable ambition; the gloriously vain Bruce discovers a wrinkle and confronts rejection; and Angus finds himself facing the grave consequences of unbridled bliss, not to mention a large Glaswegian gangster bearing gifts ...
Irvine Welsh - The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs
Troubled Environmental Health Officer Danny Skinner is engaged on a quest to uncover what he refers to as 'the bedroom secrets of the master chefs'. He regards the unravelling of this classified information as the key to learning genetic facts about himself and the crippling compulsions that threaten to wreck his young life. The ensuing journey takes him from Europe's festival city of Edinburgh to the foodie capital of America, San Francisco. But the hard-drinking, womanising Skinner has a strange nemesis in the form of model-railway enthusiast Brian Kibby. It is his unfathomable, obsessive hatred of Kibby that takes over everything, threatening to destroy not only Skinner and his mission but also those he loves most dearly. When Kibby contracts a horrific and debilitating mystery virus, Skinner understands that his destiny is inextricably bound to that of his hated rival, and he is faced with a terrible dilemma. The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs is a gothic parable about the great obsessions of our time: food, sex and minor celebrity, and is a brilliant examination of identity, male rivalry and the need to belong in the world.
Alexander McCall Smith - Bertie Plays the Blues
Even down to its well-set Georgian townhouses, Edinburgh is a hymn to measure and harmony. But on Scotland Street, domestic accord is in short supply. Matthew and Elspeth welcome three new arrivals, though the joys of multiple parenthood are somewhat lost due to sleep deprivation and the difficulties of telling their brood apart. Angus and Domenica are to marry, and Domenica has ambitious and disturbing plans for their living arrangements, especially when it appears that Antonia, in Italy recuperating from Stendhal Syndrome, may not return. And little Bertie, feeling blue, puts himself up for adoption on eBay. Can Edinburgh's most deliciously dysfunctional residents forsake discord and learn to dance to the same happy tune?
Alexander McCall Smith - Bertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers
As summer blooms in Edinburgh’s gardens and Bertie Pollock’s birthday appears on the horizon, all at 44 Scotland Street is not cake and sunshine. Newlywed Angus Lordie has been booked by his bride into what he must not call the loony bin; Bruce’s first encounter with hot wax brings more anguish than he bargained for; and Bertie’s birthday dreams of scout camp and a penknife look set to be replaced by a game of Royal Weddings and a gender-neutral doll. But fate, an amorous Bedouin and the Dubai Tourist Authority conspire to transport Bertie’s mother Irene to a warmer – if not a better – place, and once again in Scotland Street the triumph of human kindness over adversity gives cause for celebration.