Author Spotlight
Novels about the lives of "ordinary" people...
Grey Dawn By Mick Parkin
eBook (PDF): $0.00
(4 Ratings)
The story is set in Glasgow 1947. A Polish ex-soldier, Jozef Lipinski (28) moves into the same tenement as Fiona (typist – 23yrs) and Sandy (train worker – 25yrs) / Jozef fought with the... More > allies to liberate his homeland, but instead it was handed over to Stalin. Now he finds himself in Skotland – an ex-heroes to whom the British state feels obliged to give refuge / The new Labour Government is building homes, introducing the NHS, etc. But, having pressed ahead with all this – despite the country being almost bankrupt – they now find themselves facing a financial crisis. / So, with the rest of Europe on the verge of collapse, and the Cold War starting to divide the world into 2 camps – can Britain survive as a social-democratic Third Alternative? / This question is particularly significant for Jozef, because he is looking to the success of civilised values in Britain to provide an antidote to the dehumanising abuse inflicted on his country by the Nazis.< Less
Straight Road By Mick Parkin
eBook (PDF): $0.00
(2 Ratings)
The story is set in June 1870, on a farm outside Glasgow. A road is being built which will demolish the farm and create an estate of suburban villas. Duncan Carr, an aging widower, is the tenant... More > farmer, Agnes his housemaid and Tam the only remaining farm worker. In the last few weeks before the road reaches them the strains inherent in their isolated existence start to surface as Tam tries to gain some control over his future When this goes wrong, Agnes sees a way to save the situation, but only if she can steel herself to break the usual conventions controlling female behavior. Their story overlaps with that of the workers laying the road, where a potential relationship between Neil and Ashling – an Irish immigrant employed to break stones – comes to nothing when she chooses self-abnegation in response to the horrors of life in the slums of Glasgow. Along the way, the reader gets an insight into how life was lived at the time – the reality of which doesn’t always fit our clichéd images< Less
Beyond Our Horizon By Mick Parkin
eBook (PDF): $0.00
The story is set in Glasgow, during the Cuban Missile Crisis of Oct 1962 /Three Russians are staying at the Caithness Hotel, as part of a trade delegation /Yuri the translator, and writer, Dimitry... More > the KGB minder, and Vladimir a chemical engineer. There are various flashbacks to life in Russia, such as the bickering that goes on in communal apartments, or the tranquillity of a visit by Dimitry to his dacha /There are 3 Scottish characters /Alistair (56), the owner of Caithness Hotel. A divorcee who drinks too much, and only survives because his family inheritance allowed him to buy the hotel outright /Alistair’s daughter – Susan, 25 – runs a small shop for which she buys up-market clothes at house sales /Susan’s fiancé – David, 26 – is a chemical engineer who also speaks Russian. The Russians are in Glasgow to visit the chemical plant where he works /1962, was the last year before The Sixties got going in Britain, so attitudes towards such things as divorce, drink-driving and working-women were on the cusp< Less
Real World By Mick Parkin
eBook (PDF): $0.00
(4 Ratings)
Kirsty and Amanda are both 25. Kirsty is finishing a History degree, whilst bringing up her son Mark. As part of the research for her dissertation she interviews Jake, 53, who was a printer on the... More > Scottish Daily News (A national newspaper run by 500 sacked printers, with a bit of help from Tony Benn, in 1975) / Jake was involved in the radical politics of the ‘70s – squatting, gender politics, and, via his lover Rhona, was influenced by the Italian autonomists, Angry Brigade, etc / Amanda starts off working at Gap, then moves from Charity Mugger, via actress and lingerie model, to being a lap dancer – the ultimate service industry. / By following her story it becomes clear that a service industry job doesn’t just take up your time – it gets right inside you and scoops out any kind of authentic response / Bleak stuff… but on the other hand, Kirsty’s growing career as a jazz-singer proves that, despite the mundane irritations of the showbiz world, it is still possible to ‘sing your own song’.< Less
To Live By Mick Parkin
eBook (PDF): $0.00
(3 Ratings)
The story is set in the Spanish Civil War at a time when the tension between stalinists and anarchists – who were meant to be fighting together against Franco – erupted into armed... More > conflict on the streets of Barcelona. / The narrative revolves around an actual event, the theft of twelve tanks, which leads to the classic set-up of two miss-matched investigators. In this case Vincente is the careful and conscientious chairman of a collectivised factory, Ramon is the young militant disillusioned with fighting at the front who becomes part of the movement for a second, more total revolution. / Another character, Carles, who works at the factory where the tanks were built, is drawn into the situation despite unresolved differences with his ageing father, a well-know anarchist activist. / The essence of the story is the simple reality of how people actually experienced these events. So, for example, Ramon, being illiterate, has to think fast when Pilar suggests a film with subtitles for their first date.< Less