Big Morning Blues
The blurb on the back:
The Rookery is the sleazy heart of modern London; the world capital of porn, booze and petty crime. To survive in the Rookery you need to be tough or crooked. Preferably both when you're dealing with a clientele of John the Baptist, Broken Back Brown, Paisley Dave, McMenemy the Enemy, and many more of the coolest villains and maddest maniacs ever concentrated in one place.
As the cover says, this is from the man who brought us The Siege of Trencher’s Farm, later filmed as Straw Dogs. And it’s really very good indeed. It’s told by a Glaswegian trying to eke out a living as a dodgy music agent and writer (porn, as it happens) in the seedier parts of London, where little ever gets done, because the pubs are just about to open and then the drinking clubs will be ready to welcome their patrons.
The story is slight and not really worth worrying about too much. But the detail of a now vanished world is fabulous. Virtually every page has something that’ll grab your attention, whether it’s attitudes to the civil war in Northern Ireland:
through to what constitutes a decent café breakfast:
It’s grubby, it’s dingy, it’s shot through with casual violence, and it seldom gets through a page without having a drink. It’s also got some good gags and doesn’t let up for a moment. And the portrayal of a once-great Scottish playwright reduced to whingeing penury by alcoholism is fearfully accurate – based on a real person?
Check this one out. It’s worth your time.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 4/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT: 4/5