Edinburgh 1993: Sidney Dempsey is trying to understand life, love and why his football team have stopped winning matches.
Glasgow 1994: The Celtic Board are under siege, the supporters are calling for change and the football team have stopped winning games,
Read how the stories become intertwined as the battle for the soul of Celtic is in full cry and a team across the other side of the city look unstoppable,
Trouble is, they thought that too...
I've heard the author speak on many occasions, so by the second page I was gliding effortlessly through the broad Edinburgh dialect and Scottish slang with his voice telling the story in my head. I felt many emotions while reading this book; from depressed to exhilarated and must have laughed out loud a dozen times or more. I think that's down to two things; being able to relate to the main character in a lot of ways, but also down to the author's ability capture and enthrall the reader in the story. A tale of tough times, love, music, football and current events, but above all; a tale of overcoming adversity as the book culminates in an air punching moment of realisation that all is never lost, and that those who dangle their flawed superiority over you will get their just deserts some day. Kevin O'Neill
Being late to the party, this is my first Paul Larking book (But I did get "By any Means Necessary" to read next). After listening to him on the Beyond the Waves and Home Bhoys podcasts, I thought this type of book would be interesting and it was more than that. The Last Pearl Diver is a book that will take you inside the mind of "Sid" and not just introduce you to the era of the mid 90's in Scotland. This level of detail made me feel as if I was there and could actually understand what Sid was going through. If this is a trilogy, Cmon Paul don't stop writing!!!
After reading this book. It had taken me back to a time when life was tougher. Paul manages to capture the difficulties of being a young Celtic fan fighting to find love and cope with life. Influences from Irvine Welsh's descriptive style can be seen in the writing. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
As an avid reader of Paul's work, this was never going to disappoint. A journey back in time to the dark days of the 90's for Celtic Football Club, through the eyes of Sidney, brings back quite some memories. Ultimately, this is a story of Good versus Evil - Sidney's battles with Findlay are a fantastic analogy for what was happening with our club while under the cloud of catastrophic mismanagement and the footballing dominance of a club that once existed in the south side of the city but we all know who won that fight, don't we... Paul's style is unmistakably honest, taking no prisoners and abrasive at times, and very funny but it's the conviction with which he writes that always grabs you and this comes across just as much in fiction as it does his other non-fiction work. Regardless of your background or where you are in the world, there are elements of Sidney's story we can all relate to and if the rumours of a trilogy are true, I can't wait for the next instalment. For me, Paul's... More > work is simply essential reading. I will really enjoy diving back into his books in years to come as he captures brilliantly what it means to be a Celtic supporter past, present and future.< Less
First of all, if your not used to how people in other countries speak, your going to struggle. If you are like me, your fine. Really good book. less footy, and more about life. The passages about Celtic were shocking. This is one of those topics, I wish I had been there for. Being an American, I would never have heard about the 90's Celtic troubles, like you lucky people in Scotland did. (Lucky as in get to be around it). The only question is what to read now?
Another outstanding book by Paul Larkin. He transports you back to a turbulent time in the history of Celtic. How the fans called for change and change came, and the rebels won. Paul writes with all his heart and soul and you can't help but smile all the way through this, his first novel. It brings back so many memories . Tremendous work from a fellow Bronx Bhoy ;0)
I became a fan of Paul Larkin after becoming aware of his views on the Homebhoys podcast and I really connected with his well articulated passion on the subject of Celtic! I've read two of his previous books and enjoyed them both thoroughly. I am so happy to say that The Last Pearl Diver is as much of a page turner as his previous works. If you were alive in the 90s and you were a Celtic supporter (although fans of other clubs would also enjoy it (OK maybe not quite all but if we were in any country other than Scotland, it would be all!)) then you will really make a connection with Sidney Dempsey. I heard that this may be part of a trilogy (from Paul himself on the Beyond The Waves podcast so it's not like it's hearsay), if that is the intention then I'm very much looking forward to the next two! Paul, just make sure the next instalment is an Empire Strikes Back of a sequel!
This is an excellent portrayal of a young guy growing up in the 90's. Even though the main character is a Celtic fan it isn't exclusively for those of a green and white persuasion. Any football fan who has seen their team teeter on the precipice will be able to relate to the emotions stirred up in this novel. Also, being an Edinburgh boy myself, the setting brings back many memories of familiar venues and acts as a bit of a trip down memory lane. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who fancies a journey back to the early 90's.
As you all know, it's not always easy being a Celtic fan. Given the success of the team at the moment, it can become easy to forget of some of the bad times that we've gone through. For those of us of a certain age, the 1990's was as bad as it got. In March 1994, The Bank of Scotland decided that they were calling in the receivers as a result of exceeding our overdraft. It was bleak times and as many of you will recall, the club we all know and love was perilously close to being no more. Thankfully, Fergus McCann came along, saved us, and the rest might say is history. Paul's book perfectly encapsulates the mood of the support at that time. Some of the experiences of the main character are similar to my own. I recall those times and how I felt and for an author to be able to do that in a novel is rare, it's a unique talent and Paul has it. If you've bought Paul's previous books, then you should already be all over his first novel. If not, then I'd urge you to buy this. Indulge your... More > love of Celtic, of reading and recall how good things are compared to back then. Paul deserves every success with this, a fantastic read.< Less
This is a book every single Celtic fan should read. This book brought back so many memories good and bad, and I enjoyed each and every one. This is a book about you, about me, about every single fan who kept the faith during the dark days and are enjoying every minute of it now. Can't wait for the next Paul Larkin book
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