It’s always a buzz when Paul Larkin’s latest book arrives. Just like the latest books main character Sidney Dempsey it’s just like Giro day when it hits the loabby door mat.
Paul’s latest offering ‘The Last Pearl Diver’ is the fictional tale of Sidney Dempsey a young Celtic supporter finding his feet in life mainly in Edinburgh around 1993/94. His world revolves around the Saturday Giro and Celtic FC. Sid’s story is interspersed with text from a fictional Celtic Boardroom in turmoil which adds great interest to a great tale.
The story opens up wi a trip to the broo for Sid and his Da who schools him on broo etiquette and Sid’s decision to take up writing to a stranger in the form of Ferris a lad from the USA. It covers the joy of getting your Giro on a Saturday and the angst of worrying about it not turning up and having to wait till Monday. A feeling many of us remember.
Once again in this book the use of the Edinburgh dialect is excellent and really helps draw you into Sidney’s world. A good and poignant section of the book is all about Sid meeting Honey a lovely looking lassie fae Glasgow’s West End in an Edinburgh record shop. Now that might sound a bit lame the auld boy meets girl stuff but the way that story evolves and the introduction of ‘Honey’s big arse’ Finley the uber supremacist hun and the consequences for Sidney’s sanity adds a lot of weight to Sid’s story. I’m sure many a reader will be able to the consequences of falling in love. True to its time the tale even has a mention of Telewest the cable channel, Gazelles and Scott Nisbett’s fluke of a goal against Brugge. You know the one, the greatest goal that was never meant which turned him into a God in the eyes of the Scottish media.
Some of the stuff in the book surrounding being a Celtic fan then sadly seems relevant now between shenanigan’s going on in the boardroom, a disconnection between the board and supporters and a dodgy media.
Later on in the book we catch up with a grown up Sidney now based in New York and a brief jaunt into an American road trip. There is also a section on a romp in Amsterdam. The book ends with some prose from the Green and White bard Lorenzo Wordsmith with a tribute to the Bunnet. Mr Fergus McCann father of the modern Celtic.
Whether you’re a mad mental bam fae Glesga or a barry radge gadgie fae Auld Reekie you’ll connect with young Sidney Dempsey and have a great time doing it.
The book is so engaging that you’ll have it read before you realise it. I highly recommend it.
You can buy the book online here