Ticonderoga(6990) on 09/03/2004
| This startling, terrifying debut novel takes us
straight inside the head of a paranoid schizophrenic.
So powerful is the writing that it virtually induces
the tormented central character's state of mind in the
reader. Relief, such as it is, comes in moments of
hugely, horribly funny black humour.
Be prepared to be shocked, traumatized, very moved
and extremely disoriented and distressed. This is
almost unbearably real and true. Jools, the
schizophrenic, is clearly the author, and everything
he endures has the awful smack of lived experience.
Here is a mind where every fear, doubt, worry and
inadequacy takes on a fully-fledged personality of its
Largely set in one of the oldest and roughest
hoousing estates on the outskirts of Edinburgh, the
novel has masterly dialogue which gutters with acutely
observed, phonetically rendered broad Scots
vernacular; there's a lot of swearing! But, the whole
book sweats, bleeds and spews authenticity. Always
uncomfortable, the narrative keeps you constantly
hooked with its unflinchingly honest depiction of
in-the-moment experience. Ultimately, and
surprisingly, the effect is life-affirmimg and
uplifting. A phenomenal debut. Please read this book.