After the scandalous theft of of GBP27,000 from a local pub, a homeless drifter pursues his eccentric uncle, 'The Man Who Walks', up into the Highlands to recover the money. The nephew's frantic, stalled progress and other bizarre diversions form this wickedly hilarious novel. But who is The Man Who Walks? Is he simply a water-carrying madman with one glass eye and a fondness for whisky and pony nuts, and who has a physiological inability to handle slopes? Or is he a savant, touched by the hand of God, wandering the back roads along ancient, ancestral tracks? And as the sinister, unstable nephew gains on The Man Who Walks, can it be that it will all end in a field and that this field is Culloden Moor?
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(198mm x 129mm x 18mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
A belligerent drifter steals a hefty World Cup kitty from a local pub and heads for the hills. With little by way of fanfare, his nephew sets off to track him down, and finds himself plunging through an often surreal world that fast morphs into his worst nightmare. Whether naming pets after individual members of the Stone Roses, or getting inside the Nephew's desire to have his beloved books alphabetically arranged in a home of his own, Warner's latest novel is funny yet grim, and always compelling. The road leads the Nephew - the perennial outsider - to encounters with perverted lorry drivers, the decaying remnants of the aristocracy, and a frustrating moonlit tryst with an old flame. His reaction to these encounters results in a trail of carnage that follows him as he continues north, seemingly always just a little behind his eccentric one-eyed uncle. An increasingly bizarre Scotland reveals itself as the enigmatic Man who Walks is tracked by his ever-frustrated relative. As the Nephew ruminates on his fear of water and a childhood full of cruel reminders of the difference between his people and the 'Settled Community', his complexities combine to create a brilliantly developed character. It's impossible not to be drawn in by the man, riven as he is by contradictions, and it's equally impossible to shake the feeling that all is not well at the heart of this dark tale, even if the Nephew himself is always on the lookout for better days ahead. Here, Alan Warner follows earlier works such as Morvern Callar with another perfectly phrased novel, and his ability to combine the roughest of Scottish colloquialisms with touching, beautiful prose is often breathtaking. There are times when his ability to do what he chooses with the English language is as stunning as it is audacious. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Alan Warner
Alan Warner is the author of six previous novels: Morvern Callar, These Demented Lands, The Sopranos, The Worms Can Carry Me To Heaven, The Stars in the Bright Sky, which was longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, and The Deadman's Pedal. He is Writer in Residence at Edinburgh University.