From the infamous Glasgow slum, the Gorbals, Tam Clay chronicles a week in his life, in the last days before the demolishers move in. Intersecting friends, old-timers and eccentrics, navigating his pregnant wife, frisky bedfellows and debt collectors, Tam stumbles through a derelict world on an odyssey of self-discovery. Wildly funny, outlandish and insanely ambitious – thirty years in the writing – Torrington’s pulverised ’60s Glasgow is crammed to the crevices with a blizzard of his unique and insatiable genius.
A gamey, pungent, vulgar sprawl of a novel, somewhere in the hinterland where Damon Runyon meets James Joyce
Swing Hammer Swing! is a great novel
A crazily good read... this [is a] fantastic first novel
It is such a good novel, with such energy of language and gift for striking off memorable scenes, that its appearance at any time would be welcomed . . . It prompts reflection on how much it would have benefited Scottish writers if 20 years ago a novel had been published with Jeff Torrington's absolute lack of compromise or temporising explanation in the use of Glasgow material and dialect
This might be the Gorbals, and the banter might be exchanged on the steps of tramp-haunted urinals, but the reference points are Nietzsche, Pascal, Chekhov and Sartre'