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A Life in Four Books. Canons
'Probably the greatest novel of the century' Observer
'Remarkable . . . A work of loving and vivid imagination, yielding copious riches' WILLIAM BOYD
Lanark, a modern vision of hell, is set in the disintegrating cities of Unthank and Glasgow, and tells the interwoven stories of Lanark and Duncan Thaw. A work of extraordinary imagination and wide range, its playful narrative techniques convey a profound message, both personal and political, about humankind's inability to love, and yet our compulsion to go on trying.
First published in 1981, Lanark immediately established Gray as one of Britain's leading writers.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
I was absolutely knocked out by Lanark. I think it's the best in Scottish literature this century -- Iain Banks Probably the greatest novel of the century . . . it marked the beginning of a new era -- James Campbell * * Observer * * It was time Scotland produced a shattering work of fiction in the modern idiom. This is it . . . [Gray is] the best Scottish novelist since Sir Walter Scott -- Anthony Burgess When dawn comes up and retires in dismay, we find ourselves in the presence of an overpowering surreal imagination. A saga of a city where reality is about as reliable as a Salvador Dali watch -- Brian Aldiss A quite extraordinary achievement, the most remarkable thing in Scottish fiction for a very long time. It has changed the landscape -- Allan Massie * * The Scotsman * * Undoubtedly the best work of fiction written by a Scottish author for decades * * Time Out * * Remarkable. . . Lanark is a work of loving and vivid imagination, yielding copious riches -- William Boyd * * Times Literary Supplement * * From a lesser writer, stygian darkness and baroque structure might see off a mass audience and reduce a book to cult status. In Gray's hands, the simple, direct prose found him a wide readership. * * The Times * * A phantasmagorical mixture of realism and fantasy * * The List * * In some ways it's even more relevant today. It's such an elaborate work of both fantasy and political satire, a sort of Gulliver's Travels for 20th Century Scotland * * Scotland on Sunday * *