Entry updated 17 October 2022. Tagged: Author.
(? - ) Scottish teacher, journalist and author resident in England. The protagonist of his first novel, The Last Good Man (2020), which is set in the Near Future after a pervasive Pandemic-like planetary Disaster, escapes a disintegrating City to visit the remote village where his cousin lives. Impossibly placid and twee, the place seems to exist in an ontological Zone dissevered from the rest of the world; but peace is maintained through repeated rituals evocative of both Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" (26 June 1948 The New Yorker) and Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games sequence of books and films beginning with The Hunger Games (2008). The heart of what turns out to be a emblematical tyranny is a great central monolith (or "Wall") upon which village residents inscribe curses directed against their neighbours. The lack of a cui bono to explain this device of social coercion evokes Franz Kafka and possibly the early Dino Buzzati, not unmeritoriously. [JC]
born Glasgow, Scotland
- The Last Good Man (London: Bloomsbury, 2020) [hb/]
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