Where to start with introducing Lanark? This novel comes in four books but begins with book 3, of course. Gray's quirky, original and endearing imagination takes us through a dis-utopian state of Unthank, via themes of love, Hell, God, art, a semi-cannibalistic health service, and an oracle.
Trick is to Keep Breathing
This excellent account of a woman struggling with depression challenges and affects its readers through a first-person narrative that explores ritualised cleansing and vividly charts it's central character's inner withdrawal.
A young woman's self-destructive wander through Glasgow and Orkney is fiercely portrayed through a fragmented narrative as she comes to terms with a tragic blow to her seemingly irretrievable identity.
Burnside takes us to west coast Scottish town which lies in the heart of the English East-Midlands and was created by mass migration to the British Steel Plant at Corby. Corby, once visited, never left. Terrible secrets and violence challenge the bond shared by two teenage boys.
How Late it was How Late
Kelman takes through Glaswegian drawl with a mastery that dumps you on Sauchiehall Street and glues you there. Ex-convict is rearrested and interrogated whilst finding his hangover includes blindness.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde by
This is the grand-daddy of all those other books that use personifications of good and evil to race us through exhilirating and darkly enticing narratives. Few imitators are sophisticated enough to deal with good and evil through one central character.
The Edinburgh of the Festival and the Edinburgh of Leith is a contrast which propels Irvine Welsh's search for the real. Welsh settles the battle firmly on the side of the working class. His stark, shocking interrelated narratives chart a madcap journey through smack, shop- lifting, sex, escape and, oh yes, psychopathic violence.
Knots & Crosses
Rebus takes on a serial killer and battles his own demons in this excellent psychological thriller from the now accomplished Ian Rankin. Rebus as the insecure hardman who tots up his daily sins like a macho Bridget Jones makes his first, very sure-footed, appearance.