CHILDREN OF ALBION ROVERS by Kevin Williamson

CHILDREN OF ALBION ROVERS

An Anthology of New Scottish Writing
edited by
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Stories by six young writers, the cream of the contemporary Scottish Beats crop, are anthologized here in a raw display of life on the edge. An excerpt from a 1991 novel by Alan Warner, here titled ``After the Vision,'' is the most successful of the lot, describing one man's long voyage home after a rave, a journey that touches bottom when he meets a long-lost mate who enthuses over his job at a crematorium, then begins slowly to rise when he meets two women who take him to their friend, who in turn offers him a couch for a much-needed night's sleep. Also funny and compelling is ``The Brown Pint of Courage,'' by James Meek, in which three bottom-rung members of Edinburgh's parking police force indulge in mayhem and coercion on the job--one even falling in love on his lunch break with a woman who shares his passion for Thomas Carlyle--before the good times come to an end in spectacular fashion. Other interesting stories by Laura J. Hird and Paul Reekie involve a teacher's nightlong seduction of his 16-year-old student, which doesn't go quite as he planned (``The Dilating Pupil''), and a chronicle of a generation finding its way in the world, narrated by a man recovering from burns received while sitting on a toilet that ignited (``Submission''). The most touted piece here, however, proves disappointing: Irvine Welsh's sci-fi spoof involving aliens and their command of Scots English (``The Rosewell Incident''), has a few laughs but not much else. The vision of Scottish life created by these six voices is remarkably consistent, vital, and unyieldingly tough-minded, but it's too early to say if these promising young writers will mature into major ones, or if they'll gain much of a foothold on these shores.

Pub Date: June 17th, 1997
ISBN: 0-87951-775-1
Page count: 236pp
Publisher: Overlook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1997