independence – self-determination – autonomy

People Make Glesga

Bella Caledonia got in touch with Chris McQueer to find out more about his new collection of short stories HINGS. But Chris couldnae bother his arse to reply. Instead he got one of the stars of his stories to write to us, giving us a tour of the Glasga she and her co-stars inhabit, the world of HINGS. Mon alang wi Big Angie for the journey.

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Awrite? Ahm Big Angie. Ahm the best bowls player in aw ae Glesga.

Some wee guy wrote aboot me in his book. Its cawed HINGS, an this wee guy is cawed Chris McQueer. No sure how he wrote aboot us like, but he did. Mibbie he’s efter a swatch o us wioot ma Ranger tap.

Anyway, seein as ahm the star ae the show in this book o his, the main character an aw that, he’s asked me ae gie ye a tour ae Glesga, the REAL Glesga.

Glesga gets a bad rap aff cunts. Folk say it’s aw murders an drugs an gangsters an aw that rubbish but it’s no. Ah mean, there’s a fair amount ae that goes oan, granted, but there’s mair tae this place than that.

People make Glesga. That’s whit it seys on the side o the college in toon, an the billboards an that. Well I’ll introduce ye tae some o the folk that stey in ma Glasga. Maist o them make it intae that McQueer boys book.

We’ll start err in the West End. The land ae the Posh Cunt. Here we find Tony, who’s in denial aboot his new middle class leanins, steys. He still gies it big licks aboot bein workin class an suportin Partick Thistle. But unnerneath it aw Tony is hidin. Aw hewants tae dae is come oot tae his auld faither, come oot as a Tory.

Then there’s the toon where Crawford, a hoity-toity, arty-farty type, gets a showin up in the Gallery ae Modern Art aff wee Deek. Wee Deek’s a right seekit guy, but ah like him.

Then thurr’s the schemes ae the East End. Hame tae Sammy, a wee bampot by aw accounts, who’s constantly duckin an divin an gettin up tae aw sorts. He’s a bitty daft like, an fae him we learn a lesson aboot the schemes: if ye see a cunt puntin whelks, mussels and candy apples fur the love ae God, don’t buy anyhing aff him. How would somebdy be sellin whelks in a scheme? Daft Sammy finds oot, as does his poor da.

If aw this daunderin aboot ma Glasga has gied ye a thriust an yer efter a wee swallay, ye could dae a lot worse than Alan’s Shed. This gairden shed pure kicks aff maist nights; wan o the best venues in toon. Alan’s no too happy that cunts urr usin his shed tae bevvy in but who gies a fuck wit he hinks? No me anywey.

Thurr’s magic porn magazines appearin in the bookies, juice that makes ye pish the bed, maws teachin thurr wee lassies how tae crack jaws an a cunt sellin budgies that huv wee human airms insteed ae wings.

Yer better aff no spendin too long in the schemes, tae be honest wi ye. The place cin make ye feel a wee bit unhinged. Aw here, definitely steer clear ae Easterhoose, the place is fuckin hoachin wi Japanese tourists the noo fur some reason.

Movin oot tae the suburbs ye might encounter the Top Boy himself, Stevie Dunn. He’s wan ae these sales exec bawbag types but he likes tae hing aboot wi the young team. No in a creepy wey, right enough, he’s joost no goat any pals. Poor basturt.

That’s aa yer getting fae me, ahm needin awa fir the bowls. Needin tae get tae the station? Gie Graham a bell. Graham’s an Ex Sellick player. Retired at twinty-sivin tae drive the taxis. Never been happier. Fuckin idiot.

Glesga’s goat a lot mair tae it than cunts realise. It’s its ain wee self-contained ecosystem. It’s full ae rockets, ah’ll gie ye that, but see at the end ae the day thurr OOR rockets.
If nuhin else, it’s a laugh.

Gies a shout if yer ever err mah wey if ye want a tankin urr a game ae bowls.

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HINGS is a stoater of a book, one that’ll really make you laugh and will absolutely take your imagination and put it somewhere new. Dinnae worry, it is somewhere fundamentally nice, but its also pretty odd. Get refreshed, get some new ideas in yer heid. Read HINGS.

 

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5 Comments

  • A. Graham 1 month ago

    But surely that book, “Hings”, has been out since July last year? Or is it a new book with the same title? Odd.

    Seriously, as an advertisement for a book, this doesn’t work well at all. While I’m happy to assume that this Big Angie character is indeed only a character, her writing seems to be trying to be Jim Kelman or Irvine Welsh, but is cringe-makingly bad. At the very least, could Big Angie decide whether she wants to call Glasgow “Glesga” or “Glasga”? I suppose it might have been done on purpose in order to make the Big Angie character look daft, but I can’t be sure about that.

    It’s all a bit strange. An advertisement for a “new” book that isn’t new, done in a very off-putting way.

    Reply
    • Ally 1 month ago

      Aye, ma fault wi the Glasga/Glesga hing: I pit ma East coast spellin in the heidline wioot thinkin.
      Mibbie Captain Bella can pit it owre tae ‘Glesga’ when he gets a second?

      Reply
  • Kel 1 month ago

    Whelks, mussels and candy app-els! It sounds like a Vic and Bob non-sequiter but I remember this chant regularly emanating from a guy who wandered the back courts at Possilpark in the mid 1990s. I never made a purchase so still have to wonder… Was this really a ‘thing’, i.e. how could someone have come up with such an impractical and random assortment of good to hawking across the schemes of Glasgow? Can anyone shed any light??

    Reply
  • Josef Ó Luain 1 month ago

    The language is derivative, sure, but that’s only noticeable because the book was spawned in a small pool. Who knows what the big world outside the pool might make of the book. I’m pretty certain comparisons with Kelman and Welsh won’t spring-to-mind for the vast majority of readers.

    Buy a copy and support a Scottish publisher:404 Ink. Nah, I don’t work for them, never met them in my life.

    Reply
  • Justin Kenrick 1 month ago

    Hey u cult
    ure pure Culture

    and a great illustration

    Reply

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