Appropriately enough, John has chosen William Blake’s Glad Day as the backdrop for the collection’s cover. For the introduction to the collection, he has also picked out a wonderful Samuel Beckett quotation that sums up his own writing psyche. And oh, yes, there’s a foreword by Mister McStoryteller himself, Brendan Gisby, which is reproduced here:
“To state simply that this volume is a collection of stories by the Glaswegian writer John McGroarty would do little justice to either the stories or their author. For what is on offer here is a treasure trove of remarkable stories penned over many years by a remarkable writer.
All the seasons, all the tones, all the moods are represented in these finely crafted and beautifully written stories, handpicked by the author. Self-deprecation abounds in Thurber and the Flea Market, which is not only the opening piece, but also an ideal introduction to the McGroarty psyche. There’s pathos and sadness aplenty, as in Logic Games. But there are also large doses of typical McGroarty West of Scotland humour, as in The Ten Planet Finger Theory. There’s the sheer chutzpah of The Irish Buddha. And in Banal Realism there’s even the perfect pastiche of the currently much-lauded Nordic non-fiction genre.
It is the author’s ability to switch effortlessly across this diversity of moods and styles – from Glaswegian wryness to intense desolation to madcap comedy – that makes both him and the collection so remarkable. McGroarty is a writer for all seasons. He is everyman. And he is everywhere.”
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