Linlithgow Book Festival tomorrow


I’m delighted to be appearing at the Linlithgow Book Festival tomorrow with the wonderful Helen FitzGerald, 3.45pm in the Masonic Hall. See you there, folks!

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‘Surtsey’ on The Island Review


I’m absolutely delighted that my short story ‘Surtsey’ is now on The Island Review, one of my favourite websites. It’s mostly set in Iceland, and contains the word ‘Þjóðhátíð’. It was originally written for the Edinburgh International Book Festival and appeared in their Elsewhere collaboration with Cargo Publishing and McSweeney’s. Enjoy!

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Ten Book Reviews I’ve Written Recently

Been very slack in putting my book reviews up, so here is a round-up of stuff that has appeared in print in the last couple of months:


Perfidia by James Ellroy in the Independent on Sunday.


Evil Eye by Joyce Carol Oates in the Independent on Sunday.

illustration by Mitch Blunt

illustration by Mitch Blunt

Plato at the Googleplex by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein and Drunk Tank Pink by Adam Alter in the Big Issue magazine.

illustration by Mitch Blunt

illustration by Mitch Blunt

The Drop by Dennis Lehane and Mr Mac And Me by Esther Freud in the Big Issue magazine.

illustration by Mitch Blunt

illustration by Mitch Blunt

Woody Guthrie: And the Dust Bowl Ballads by Nick Hayes and Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre in the Big Issue magazine.

illustration by Mitch Blunt

illustration by Mitch Blunt

Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival by Laurence Gonzales and Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll by Zoe Cormier in the Big Issue magazine.

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One hundred 5-star reviews vs ten 1-star reviews


This is not even a #humblebrag, just an ordinary brag – my sad and angry little book Gone Again has just had its 100th 5-star review over on Amazon. It’s also got ten 1-star reviews, if that’s more your thing. It is still a total steal at 59p for the ebook. If you prefer a paper copy, Blackwell’s on South Bridge, Edinburgh have them on super-sale for 99p for a limited time. Lovely.

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A review of my Inverness Book Festival gig


Here’s a lovely review in the Forres Gazette of the gig I did recently at the Inverness Book Festival. Lots of murder and suicide and banter and music and stuff and that. You know the drill.

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Why I’m Voting YES for Scottish Independence



I’m voting YES for Scottish independence. Big surprise, eh? I’m not going to write a long essay, it was actually pretty simple when I examined how I thought about it.

I believe this is an opportunity to create a fairer and more equal society.

I don’t think the United Kingdom operates in the interests of any of its citizens. It is elitist, corrupt and inherently unjust. If you don’t think there’s anything wrong with the UK then I’m sorry, we see a different union from each other.

If you don’t think we can do any better, I disagree, I think THIS is what we can do, vote for change. And hopefully it will jolt others in the UK to do the same.

It won’t be easy, but then nothing that’s worth doing ever is. I believe we have the resources and the people to achieve great things. This is about creating a modern country that looks after all its people.

If you think the best thing is to stay in the union and fight for change, well I respect that opinion, but I respectfully disagree. I simply cannot see any way in which the UK will become any more fair or equal under the current system.

So I’m voting YES.

On the 19th of September, whichever way it goes, we’ll all still be living in the same big beautiful country, and we’ll all get along with each other fine like we always have. I just hope that we take the chance to build a better country for future generations.


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Two more bits of tasty press for The Dead Beat


So there was a wee flurry of interest around my trips to the Edinburgh and Inverness book festivals over the last two weeks. First, a lovely interview by Calum Macleod that ran in The Northern Times and a bunch of other local Highland papers, where I talk about politics, football, music, pretty much everything except books. Then, over at East Coast FM, a cracking review by Jim Walsh of my event with Tom Benn in Edinburgh, which gets a lot of the flavour across.

Thanks, gents!


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