Peter Ross' articles from around Scotland provide a piece-by-piece portrait of a nation as it changes.
They show Scotland as she really is, a hopeful country not without problems and pain but a nation made great by the people who live, love, laugh and graft there.
From anatomists who find dissection beautiful to chip-shop owners who sing arias while serving fish suppers, the Scots in these pages come over as eccentric, humorous, moving and extraordinary.
©2014 All but 'Glasgow Central' © Scotsman Publications, Glasgow Central © Peter Ross (P)2015 W F Howes Ltd
The writing of Peter Ross and the reading of his prose by Robbie Coltrane. Coltrane picked up Peter Ross's side comment sand brilliantly headed the into a net as surely as Archie Gemmill did in Argentina in 1978.
For me personally the chapter on the Strathcathro Services. For those who know of what I write - listen to the chapter and be prepared to be amazed and grateful for many things. I also enjoyed the story of the carnival people and the naturists at Loch Lomond and Barlinnie and the Jedburgh Ba' - there are just so many wonderful chapters. Was it Juliet who said it to Romeo - 'don't leave me so unsatisfied' - ha, Peter Ross/Robbie Coltrane. I want more.
Who needs prozac when you can spend a hae a daunder in Scotland
Thank you Audible for making this book available. A book I think should be the leaving present to every Scots schoolchild. Better still 'required reading'. This is a book which can open eyes and ears and hearts and minds.
Writer and audiobook reviewer.
These are 'dispatches from unreported Scotland' written by the Glasgow-based journalist Peter Ross for 'Scotland on Sunday'. On the page they're intensely alive and the language is vigorously sinewy; read by Robbie Coltrane they bring yet more life to all the humour (which can be savage, black, sharply witty or heart-breaking), energy and vibrancy. The result is a brilliant and graphic kaleidoscope of the extraordinary in ordinary people. No well-known names, no celebrities, these are real, everyday Scots from paramedics and sheep farmers to those who dissect - with great respect - donated cadavers in Anatomy Rooms. Inside Scotland's belly are the tough gangs who maintain the Forth Road Bridge buffeted by savage winds; prisoners in Glasgow's Barlinnie Gaol, their teeth rotted by methadone; 'Compost Corner' in The Waterloo where the elderly men sit in hope in Glasgow's oldest and most extravagant gay bar; the 'brutal business' of soft fruit picking, even if now the thornless raspberries no longer rip the pickers' skin to shreds; trained extreme cleaners who are brought in to expunge the gore following a violent death. Oystermen collect delicacies for restaurants down South; naturists enjoy the peace of Loch Lomond, Scotland's 'kit-off capital'; modern-day Jacobites save up for their authentic outfits; men on the Isle of Lewis are forced back to cutting peat as the price of oil soars. And then there's Scotland's natural beauty: the vast whirling murmurations of starlings; the shifting colours of Arthur's Seat from dusk to dawn.The promise of the author's opening sentence: 'There are more things in Irvine and Perth than are dreamt of in our philosophy' is generously fulfilled. For Scots and non-Scots, here are 9 hours of superb, energising listening.
A most pleasing collection of Scottish anecdotes about its people and institutions: obscure or obvious, profound or profane, modern or moth-eaten. All are grist for Ross’s mill. There is much here for the homesick Scot, or for the merely curious.
Each chapter stands in isolation. They were written over a four year period and this does occasionally lead to puzzlement with regard to the exact placing of milestone events that will happen, ‘later in the year’.
Robbie’s narration is not flawless, although I would say that it’s a very minor irritation rather than a hindrance to listening. On a couple of occasions a few words are re-read, indeed a single tongue-tied expletive remains (no time reference given – just to make you pay attention). That notwithstanding Robbie is an excellent choice of narrator; his mimicry of the various Scottish accents of both genders enhanced my enjoyment of this title.
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