Sunday, 25 October 2009

Book of the Week - Liam McIlvenney, All the Colours of the Town

All the Colours of the Town is a first novel by Liam McIlvanney, although he has previously authored or contributed to several academic books. McIlvanney was born in Ayrshire, and is currently Stuart Professor of Scottish Studies at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He won the Saltire First Book Award for Burns the Radical in 2002, and his work has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books. He lives in Dunedin with his wife and three sons. All the Colours of the Town is a book set in Glasgow and Belfast, two cities which share close cultural links, not always positive ones. It joins a growing list of novels which address the legacy of “The Troubles”, bit for individuals and society. Reviews have been very positive. The book is published by Faber, as a paperback only, in French wraps.

“When Glasgow journalist Gerry Conway receives a phone call promising unsavoury information about Scottish Justice Minister Peter Lyons, his instinct is that this apparent scoop won't warrant space in the Tribune. But as Conway’s curiosity grows and his leads proliferate, his investigation takes him from Scotland to Belfast. Shocked by the sectarian violence of the past, and by the prejudice and hatred he encounters even now, Conway soon grows obsessed with the story of Lyons and all he represents. And as he digs deeper, he comes to understand that there is indeed a story to be uncovered - and that there are people who will go to great lengths to ensure that it remains hidden. Compelling, vividly written and shocking, All the Colours of the Town is not only the story of an individual and his community, it is also a complex and thrilling enquiry into loyalty, betrayal and duty.”

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