Bucket of Tongues by Duncan McLean

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Synopsis

From the author of Lone Star Swing, this winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, is "lean, maggoty writing. More: it's subversively funny" (Janice Galloway).

In this extraordinary collection of short stories, Duncan McLean shows us real life — and real death — in all its many guises. Equally adept at black farce, brutal rants, or tender epiphanies, McLean plunges us headlong into the lives of his characters: partying, and all it entails, with soccer enthusiasts; shivering inside the butcher's man-sized fridge; stumbling bloody-footed along the cliff-top path at midnight, lost in a liver'n'onions-fueled fantasy of sex and violence. The men and women in these stories are mostly unemployed or in dead-end jobs, often on the edge of madness or destruction; but just as often they are on the brink of simply leaving: walking away from relationships, responsibilities, and the reassurance of alcohol and aggression. Told with enormous skill, fierce humor, and a dark emotional drive, these stories are as various as the characters themselves. Their commonality derives from a merciless realism, and an almost fanatical adherence to the rhythms and cadences of spoken language. "McLean wants to capture the unremarkable, but it is his remarkable stories which transport. Expressed here at last is a psychic disorder, so contemporary, so unsafe; here is swaggering, sneering, frustrated, self-scepticism on the pavement." — Guardian (London)  Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award
 

About Duncan McLean

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Duncan McLean is the author of Bucket of Tongues , Bunker Man , and Lone Star Swing . He lives on the island of Orkney.
 
Published March 1, 1992 by Trafalgar Square. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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