✓ No Mean City Æ Download by Ö A. McArthur
✓ No Mean City Æ Download by Ö A. McArthur This book at been on my radar for years now and I have finally gotten around to reading it I picked it up from my local library As a native Glaswegian this book is famous and as the cover states bearing in mind this is an old copy over 500,000 copies sold It is a brutal account of the Stark family s life in the poverty stricken slums of Govan, Glasgow The 2 Stark brothers Peter and Johnnies rise to power in the most different ways Peter who s aim is to better his life by climbing the social ladder through a respectable life and career Johnnie The Razor King who establishes himself as the number 1 gangster in the area It s a horrifying and disturbing look at life less than 100 years ago in Glasgow The Razor King fights and slashes his way through life, men, women he has no re I did not finish this book, not because of the story line or writing because what I did read of it was very good, I just could not understand or get away with the very broad Scottish dialect which made the continuity of reading very difficult I may come back to it one day it s a shame because the story was rolling along quite nicely.
This book primarily deals with the poverty in the slums of pre war Glasgow I found it to be quite horrendous in places, particularly in the gang mentalities and how difficult it was for people to get into an education or a career which would be good enough to allow them to escape the slums It made me wonder whether I would be able to better myself in such a situation, and the answer was probably not.
The lives of all of the inhabitants of this novel just seem so incredibly depressing, and filled with violence and hardship Very few people have ambitions many are content to just soldier on with what they have been given.
I didn t find this to be well written, but I think it overcomes this with its brutal and frank social observations.
This is definitely worth a look, particularly i No Mean City is a 1935 work of fiction that tells of life in The Gorbals district of Glasgow, Scotland Written at much the same time that the novel depicts, it pulls few punches about the district s street urchins, gangland thugs and the few with ambitions to move on The main character, Johnnie Stark, sees no future beyond The Gorbals and instead fashions his life around being top dog in the dank and miserable arenas that are the tenement buildings and miserable public houses Johnnie s keeps himself fit to fight hard and soon becomes known as the Razor King , carrying cut throat razors in each of his waistcoat packets see book cover which he wields and slashes at the slightest provocation and often at provocation of his own.
The book is quite engaging, though personal I first read this book as a young teenager despite warnings from my family that this was a travesty of the Glasgow from which they moved in the late 1940s I remember being fascinated and discovered in my later years that it was the realism which had appalled my grandmother This because in the early years of her marriage, my grandfather had chosen to serve as a chemist in a poor locality of the city where his shop became the sole source of medical treatment for many in pre NHS days.
Having grown up in Maryhill In Glasgow and spent 25 years in the city I recognise the culture but not the time Glasgow has moved on but you could still find this aspect if you so wished I love Glasgow it is a hard city but with a big heart.
read paperback An exciting enough story from a historically fascinating time in Glaswegian history but unfortunately flawed in that it feels like an anthropological study by an outsider than it does a recounting of the author s own life as a Glaswegian Where a modern Scottish author like Irvine Welsh is unapologetic in his language and the culture, here it comes with translation for a Anglo friendly reading Although it might sound trivial, this problem was quite symbolic of the book I felt the characters were looked down upon slightly and never really redeemed from their flaws and misfortunes.