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William McIlvanney (1936–2015)

Autor(a) de Laidlaw

20+ Works 1,713 Membros 69 Críticas 3 Favorited

About the Author

William McIlvanney was born in Kilmarnock, Scotland on November 25, 1936. He was educated at Kilmarnock Academy and Glasgow University. He worked as an English teacher and deputy headmaster before retiring in 1975 to become a full time author. His first novel, Remedy Is None, was published in 1966. mostrar mais His other novels included A Gift from Nessus, Laidlaw, The Papers of Tony Veitch, Strange Loyalties, and The Kiln. The Big Man was made into a film starring Liam Neeson. He won numerous awards including the Whitbread Prize for Docherty, the Crime Writers' Association's Silver Dagger, the Saltire Award, and the Glasgow Herald People's Prize. He was also a poet, journalist, and broadcaster. He died after a short illness on December 5, 2015 at the age of 79. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos


Obras por William McIlvanney

Laidlaw (1977) 552 exemplares
The Papers of Tony Veitch (1983) 260 exemplares
Strange Loyalties (1991) 222 exemplares
The Dark Remains (2021) 197 exemplares
Docherty (1975) 151 exemplares
The Big Man (1985) 76 exemplares
The Kiln (1996) 73 exemplares
Weekend (2006) 69 exemplares
Walking Wounded (1989) 49 exemplares
Remedy Is None (1989) 24 exemplares
A Gift from Nessus (1990) 15 exemplares
Surviving the Shipwreck (1991) 4 exemplares

Associated Works

The Oxford Book of Scottish Short Stories (1995) — Contribuidor — 102 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Outros nomes
McIlvanney, Willie
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Local de nascimento
Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland, UK
Local de falecimento
Netherlee, Glasgow, Scotland
Locais de residência
Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Kilmarnock Academy
University of Glasgow
McIlvanney, Hugh (brother)
McIlvanney, Liam (son)



The best of the Laidlaw series. Being written in first person really lets you inside the character much more than the others.
Derek_Robertson | 7 outras críticas | Mar 11, 2024 |
Bel libro di racconti di uno scrittore scozzese sconosciuto, regalo di un amico. I primi tre sono molto belli, poi cede un po' (parecchio) nel finale, negli utimi due racconti, brevi e forse poco sviluppati; ma l'umorismo inglese, il "gelo" di certe battute, la classe (comunque) dei personaggi principali lo rendono un libercolo leggibilissimo.
sbaldi59 | Dec 28, 2023 |
6 years after the first novel, McIlvanney returns to Glasgow and his DI Jack Laidlaw. Less than a year had passed in the story though - and I suspect that this was a deliberate choice.

An old wino dies but in his last moments he calls for Laidlaw - and the policeman decide to go and listen to what the old man has to say. As it turns out, the death is not natural, despite all appearance and the DI needs to get back into the underbelly of Glasgow to find the truth. Meanwhile, one of the crime families has their own investigation going on - about another death, seemingly unrelated and about a missing student.

As with the first novel, we know more than the police or anyone else involved does as we see the action from both sides. Which makes some of the actions of some of the characters appear almost idiotic and yet realistic. Keeping track of who knows what when is important in some parts of the novel - and sorting out some of the dialogue makes that even harder. Not because it is bad - but McIlvanney continues the usage of the local dialect for most of it and sometimes you need to sound it out to actually understand it (or at least that is what worked for me). It slows down the novel and one's reading - but it adds to the grittiness and does not sound as if it is a clutch.

Overall not as enjoyable as the first novel but a good read anyway. And I can see why the current crop of Scottish noir authors like him so much.
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AnnieMod | 11 outras críticas | Jun 6, 2023 |
These days "tartan noir" or "tartan crime" are well known terms - Scottish authors, set in Scotland and drawing liberally from Scottish life. Most crime and noir readers had heard the names of Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Denise Mina or Peter May (and usually at least a few of them) and know what to expect from them. But the genre had not existed for very long - its start is usually connected to William McIlvanney and his Laidlaw trilogy. I've read most of the modern authors but never went back to Laidlaw - so it was about time for me to finally go and read the novels that started it all.

William McIlvanney is not what you would expect from a crime writer - he won multiple awards for his literary work (including the Whitbread Award (aka the Costa under its old name) before deciding that crime/noir is a good genre to use for his next book. The result was Laidlaw - a novel that won him the Silver Dagger (the second book in the trilogy will win it again - 6 years later).

A young woman is sexually assaulted and after that killed in Glasgow. The eccentric D.I. Jack Laidlaw is assigned to the murder and his unconventional methods takes him around the city, in places where most policemen won't even try to go into. As his bosses know him pretty well, they assign him a new partner, Constable Harkness - who is asked both to assist Laidlaw and to report on him. The relationship between the two men evolve as the novel runs its course - the younger man starts realizing that not everything is black and white. And that is not just about the police work or the criminals - Laidlaw often decides to share his opinions on things they both see - thus providing an almost social commentary of the Glasgow he is creating.

We know who the killer is long before the end of the novel - the murder is almost treated as a springboard to tell the story of Glasgow and the story of how Laidlaw catches the man. In addition to the underbelly of the city where Laidlaw is more respected than the police (or "polis" as they would say locally) is, there is also the complication of the victim's family - who are set on finding the killer and avenging the dead woman.

And then there is the language -- the usage of slang and the local dialects in the dialogues makes the novel hard to read if you are not used to it. They are not unreadable but they take a bit to get used to it (and occasional rereading to see if you got it right). At the same time his language outside of this verges on the poetical (a gritty poetical but still poetical) and that mix can be a bit jarring. But it also shows where the style of some of my favorite Scottish noir/crime authors come from - I can see the influence in almost all of them (it is also a bit hard to get your mind from trying to tell you that this sounds like Rankin or McDermid - just to realize a second later that it is the other way around really).

Not an easy read sometimes and despite it being the first in the genre, it may not work for everyone. But if you enjoy the genre, it may be worth checking it - because it is also a brilliant work of detective fiction - even when it is hard to read.
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AnnieMod | 27 outras críticas | Apr 5, 2023 |



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