Lanark: A Life in Four Books (Canongate Classics) [Alasdair Gray, Janice Galloway] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. From its first. This month’s feature from the Special Collections Department is the drafts and papers relating to Alasdair Gray’s most famous novel, Lanark: A life in four books. When he wrote his first novel, Lanark: A Life in Four Books, Alasdair Gray had a great many things he wanted to accomplish. He wanted to write.

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He was a contributor to Lean Talesa work that prompted a revival of interest in Scottish writing. And there, no mistake, were Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis overlooking Dennistoun. Barbara I would say yes, quite difficult to read.

If you can’t understand this review then I tell you again: Books One and Two constitute a lnaark Bildungsroman beginning in pre-War Glasgow, and tell the story of Duncan Thaw ” based on myself, he was tougher and more honest “a difficult and precocious child born to impecunious and frustrated parents in the East End of Glasgow.

But despite my occassional feelings of irritation, in actual fact some of my favourite moments in the book were some of the most contrived, like the section where Lanark meets the author, Alastair Gray himself, who explains exactly what future is about to be written for him. And this book didn’t give anything back for me now.

Glasgow belongs to us

He remembered a stone-built city of dark tenements and ornate public buildings, a city with a square street plan and electric tramcars…but below a starless sky this city was coldly blazing. This felt like a perfect image for the emotional state of just about every character in this novel.

An Index of Plagiarisms is printed in the margins of the discussion. Gray seizes the levers of science fiction with an uncanny natural ability, driving the machine forward with instinct and purpose. If you were to read most histories of post-war Scottish literature, you would be forgiven in thinking that there were two distinct periods — BL and AL, or Before Lanark and After Lanark. InGray was the editor of the school magazine at Whitehill primary school in Glasgow, to which he also contributed pictures and stories.


View all 3 comments. His mother dies horribly. A city imagined at length into being itself.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. It’s an endless present, but there are ways to escape – people disappear mysteriously, others succumb to the strange diseases this peculiar form of hell generates. It’s very well written so can’t fault it that way and it’s a while now …more I would say yes, quite difficult to read.

It’s alasdait bildungsroman of the most bizarre calibre; that’s what I love about it. In Lanark the author wrote his own afterlife. This means you only get occasional glimpses of the real city which is disappointing. Both the Mitchell Library and the National Library of Scotland also hold Gray manuscript material, a list of which is available from the supervisors lanqrk in the Special Collections reading room. I say yes, and this could be a good example. He already had almost four books, all unpublished.

I do not alasdqir what I just read. Anyway, I’ve got the ending post-epilogue, not a book, part of it helpfully labelled “climax” coming, and now I really just want to be done with this book. True, Thaw’s efforts to paint his city imaginatively lead to possible suicide and Lanark, charged with the task of imagining the city into words of such force they will save the place from total destruction, cocks up the whole show following a night of booze and easy sex.

Alasdair Gray at 80: The liberation of Lanark

This one is no different – it’s largely modelled on Portrait of the Artistonly without the happy ending. Alasxair 18, Kristian D’Amato rated it it was amazing Shelves: But I am at home there.


Lahark times I found the book to be incredibly pretentious the Epilogue, oh dear lord the Epilogueand found myself wanting to repeatedly roll my eyes. Reward, even the effectiveness of the characters in living up to their own high expectations, is not the point, after all: First comes Book 3, then the Introduction, then Books 1 and 2, and finally Book 4.

Man is the pie that bakes and eats himself, and the recipe is separation. One of the most characteristically postmodern parts of the book is the Epilogue, in which Lanark meets the author in the guise of the character “Nastler”. Dec 19, Lori rated it really liked it. His science fiction feels intense and sophisticated — a polemic in the European tradition of argument-making and ideas-formation — and yet at the same time urgent, rough-hewn, so raw it is bloody.

Gray shows an interest in sex which borders on the unhealthy, as indicated by the title of his novel S Alasdair Gray trained as a painter at the local Glasgow school of art.

Rereadings: Lanark by Alasdair Gray | Books | The Guardian

It is available afterwards on BBC iPlayer. She saw Lanark as being entirely about Glasgow and declared that, ‘to deny the interest of the Glaswegian theme is rather like suggesting Ulysses might as well have been set in Alasdai.

I had a wife who did terrible things, things I cannae mention in the presence of a wean.

Many of the drafts have also been significantly changed during writing. Mar 03, Drew rated it it was amazing Shelves: The reader gets to read first the third 3rd book where he is brought to a dark place called Unthank. I thought it was brilliant, but I can’t tell you why now.