The Gravy Star

By Hamish Macdonald

Format: eBook

When Farchar MacNab goes on a bender at Hogmanay, he stays away for three days during which the temperature drops to minus 22. He returns to his unheated cottage to find his partner and newborn baby have frozen to death. Retreating to Glasgow, he hides from the world and tries to overcome his past.

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Neil Wilson Publishing

Neil Wilson Publishing is a small, independent company which prides itself on being innovative and original. Under five imprints they produce a wide range of books with a Scottish flavour.

Product Description


When Farchar MacNab goes on a blinder of a drinking session at Hogmanay he stays away for three days. The temperature drops to minus 22, and he returns to his remote unheated cottage in the thaw to find that his partner and newborn baby have frozen to death. Fach retreats to Glasgow, where he tries to hide from the world by living in a derelict Victorian railway station below the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow's West End - "a black airless hole with pigeons for neighbours and a park full of beauty on the roof of his world". Scared of the light, Fach leaves his tunnel only at night for the safety of The Coffin - Glasgow's first 'death theme' pub - and The Gravy Star, the cafe where people don't stare too much. Slightly mad, he raves to himself, and tries to overcome his past. Obsessed with his Baden Powell-influenced upbringing at the hands of his Uncle Duncan, Fach dreams of leaving the tunnel for the Strath, place of his birth, in the Highlands. When he does, he strides out through post-industrial Glasgow, reflecting on his own family history, a hysterically funny trip to Berlin, and the toll Maggie Thatcher took on Scotland over 11 years.

His return to his home village brings a dramatic reckoning. His return to the tunnel brings a positive turn-around that makes him approach the 21st century with new hope.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format eBook
Imprint Neil Wilson Publishing
Publication Date 14 Sep 2012
ISBN 9781906000295

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Press Reviews

These are concerned and experimental voices who articulate social conundrums which can be too easily dismissed in a society with neither room nor concern for the individual. Between these pages lies a range of heartache and disorder which not only reflects what for many passes as life in contemporary Scotland, but seems a world away from the concerns and rationale of those who supposedly speak or act on our behalf. Carl MacDougall, The Herald Presented with brio and earthy humour and tempered with some wonderfully lyrical passages ... another intriguing example of Caledonian anti-syzygy ... Alan Taylor, The Sunday Herald A moving and often funny portrait ... of the profound relationship between Glasgow and the wild land to its north. James Robertson, author of The Fanatic This is a powerfully evocative and compellingly constructed tale. The List

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