This critically acclaimed debut novel from Scottish author Bissett (Ed., Boyracers, 2002; Creative Writing/Univ. of Glasgow) found a niche following in the U.K., but the odds are stacked against history repeating itself on this side of the Atlantic.
Bissett has bent the laws of grammar, punctuation and capitalization. The writing, which combines modern slang and Scottish colloquial phrasing, is at times impossible to decipher and may seem utterly incomprehensible to anyone who didn't grow up in Scotland. The plot concerns Adam Spark, a teenage fast-food worker who undergoes a series of personal trials and tribulations. Is Adam a superhero? Following an accident, he finds he's communicating with creatures and things in ways that make no sense. In fact, everything in his life changes—even his relationship with time. Adam's journey forces him to choose between good and evil, and also presents the possibility that he might lose the one person who means the most to him. Alas, most of the pages resemble Scrabble tiles tossed haphazardly onto a piece of paper. American readers will find themselves in need of someone able to translate expressions such as “ya feartys” and “pakishop.” The comic-book-inspired cover suggests a story aimed at tweens—good luck getting them, or anyone, to stay with it.
Baffling and boring.