Paradise Road by Stephen O'Donnell – Review

paradise rdWell ye should all know by now that I like a book written in the Glesga/Edinbra vernacular. So I was delighted to open up Paradise Road to find it written in the former. Paradise Road is author Stephen O’Donnell’s first book and on this showing I think it should not be his last.
The story surrounds the life of main character Kevin McGarry and the ups and downs of life and intertwined with Celtic FC. Like many before him and since the main characters dream of becoming a pro footballer is ended through an injury. However this is where the story takes off.
Like other recent Celtic novels I have read there are many areas of the story I can identify with. The shared experience of mates going to the games home and away and as usual the frustration that the game is not played on an even pitch with one club in particular benefitting. However this novel does not centre around Celtic FC. It’s the story of a life and a decent piece of social comment. So in saying that the book can be read by anyone
I found the dialogue between the characters very crisp and true to life. It could be you and your pals. Personally I felt that overall the book is an authentic representation of being part of not just the Celtic story but life in general over a period of time when some things changed forever.
I recommend you give this book a read. You’ll be drawn right into it.
You can buy the book here

1 thought on “Paradise Road by Stephen O'Donnell – Review

  1. Thanks for these book reports Jas, I too like reading fiction that has an authentic Scottish voice and sense of the communities we live in.
    Having said that, it is possibly the lack of authenticity from our press and other media that leaves us looking for a wee bit truth where ever we can find it.
    I remember years ago, when I used to have the occasional pint with Matthew Fitt, before he was published, the discussion always centered round this subject of the need of a natural voice in Scottish literature, my point then was that it is not enough to write fiction whose characters who speak Scots, but for whole volumes of fiction to be written in Scots, sadly this is still not taken off and unless it does, our language will never be recognised as anything more than a funny accent with a few slang words thrown in. Matthew agreed, but we all still feel the need to use the ‘Ingilis’ to write and communicate. Did you know it was the Scots who gave the name to the language of English or Ingilis, that is where the Scots name Ingles comes from.
    Ah jist wish they had jaloosed tae the fact, that oor mither tongue, that hus brocht us the likes o Burns, Fergusson (download his pdf Auld Reekie it is sheer genius, truthful, and funny) and James Hogg, if ye huvnae had a keek at his ‘Confessions of a Justified Sinner’, free online tae, then you are missin yersel, says a lot aboot hard neckit cantin’ Calvanism that hae taen, nd is still daein it, aw the joy oot o what it is to be lallands Scots.
    It gars me wunner that each New Year a sang in the braidest o Scots, Auld Lang Syne, is sung frae Tarbolton tae Tasmania nd a aw airts in atween, nae ither tongue kin boast this, but the bairns ur’nae taught tae even screeve in thur ain voice.
    That gives you a sample of my and Matthew’s vision. Noo afore ah send oaf ma missive, am gauntae torment ma phone nd pit this through the spell checker nd listen tae it squeal like a cat nd a dug in a poke.
    If ye cannae be bothered readin this, nae maitter I fair enjoyed screevin it.

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