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Summary

Fergus MacFarlane is a celebrated photographer partying in the heat of noughties London. One night he returns home to discover ugly cracks in his life: his past and his present are catching up with him. Who is he really? How did he get here?

Fergus was eight when his fisherman father drowned, leaving him in a damp tenement with his mother - and her resentment. In the wild landscape, Fergus searched for a way out.

Follow Fergus from scabby-kneed schoolboy to ambitious artist, from a squat to a mansion, from Hebridean islands to Hoxton galleries, from Presbyterianism to hedonism. Why did Fergus run from his past? And how does he get back?

©2008 Kate Muir; (P)2008 Isis Publishing Ltd

Critic reviews

"A perfect mixture of light and dark, with scene-setting and characterisation so effortlessly done that you almost forget you are reading a book at all." (The Times)
"This novel is an enjoyable read: acutely and amusingly observed, with some clever twists and turns." (Daily Mail)
"Muir demonstrates keen insight...West Coast is an easy, enjoyable read. Only the hard of heart will find themselves unengaged by Fergus's life story, or unmoved by the novel's denouement." (Guardian)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best stories I have heard on audio

Unlike Rebecca I didn't find this 'often shocking and borderline crude' It was one of the best stories I have heard on audio and very well narrated, I'm looking forward for future books from Kate Muir

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly Absorbing

I listened to this book for a book group, and didn't know what to expect, almost expecting generic chick-lit (which isn't generally my cup of tea).

Although it took me a few minutes to get into the book because it is written with individual chapter headings that don't necessarily relate to the following text and this isn't entirely clear on audio, after this initial trepidation I was hooked on Fergus' story, following him as he comes of age.

Far from being chick-lit, this novel was often shocking and borderline crude, despite having a few moments of sometimes sickly-sweet sentimentality that seemed to digress from the book's straight-talking and truthful tone.

The narrator was wonderful, and possibly made this book better on audio than it is on paper.

I'd recommend this book to most listeners, but due to some adult content it's not for the faint-hearted or prudish!