Friday 22 June 2012

The Next Stop Is Croy and other stories

A series of six short stories about the complex relationship between a son and his father.
The stories in this collection (four published, two unpublished) were not written in the order in which they appear here; they certainly were not conceived as part of a continuous narrative. However, I have decided to bring them together because of the chronology and themes which, it turns out, run through them. Please bear in mind that this is in no way a novella or novelette. It is a collection of short stories, and each story stands or falls on its own, as short stories must.

"An excellent introduction to the work of Andrew McCallum Crawford. These six short stories follow main character Alan from boyhood to manhood and from tender to tough. Not physically tough, but emotionally. Scottish fiction has a reputation for showing men as dour and emotionally repressed. Did that die with the death of heavy industry? This collection suggests not. Crawford's character experiences the widest possible emotional range in the course of these stories; his difficulty lies in being able to express it. That certainly can't be said for the author. A beautifully written portrayal of things felt but not said."     Carol McKay

"Above all, I liked the subtlety of these. Nothing is too overt, nothing too explicit – yet everything is there, moving, and insightful and well crafted too. In fact, when I was rereading these, I was in the middle of writing crits for a short story competition, and I wanted to tell everybody to go away and read Golf Balls. Here the writer focuses on a life transforming event, seen from the point of view of a boy who will never feel quite the same way about all kinds of things again. Deceptively simple, but with vast implications over and beyond itself – in fact a textbook example of exactly how short stories should be – little cans of worms that once opened cannot be contained."     Catherine Czerkawska

"...when you start to look for outstanding Scottish short story collections there aren’t that many to pick from – Alasdair Gray’s Unlikely Stories, Mostly and AL Kennedy’s Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains jump out for me. While The Next Stop Is Croy and other stories is not substantial enough to knock these two and Kelman off their perches, it is well worth the read."     Jim Murdoch

The Next Stop Is Croy and other stories is available from Amazon co uk and Amazon com

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