The Glasgow Coma Scale by Neil D A Stewart

Published by Corsair

17th July 2014


Lynne is a young woman who once dreamed of being an artist, but whose promotion to supervisor at a call-centre in Glasgow is sucking the soul out of her.

When Lynne hands a fiver to a homeless man on the street in town one day, she is shocked to recognise Angus – her former art teacher on whom she once had a crush. What on earth could have reduced him to life on the street? In a gesture of uncharacteristic rashness, she invites him home.

So begins The Glasgow Coma Scale. Set against the gentrification of Scotland’s second city, this is a taut, ticklish, tender and truly unexpected story of art, of the city, of feelings, and about the redemptive power of an unconventional kind of love.


My thoughts

A slice from two people’s lives, formally they were pupil (Lynne) and art teacher (Angus), now the teacher is homeless and the pupil offers him a place to stay.

The writing style is very simple to read except for when the Scottish characters like Angus talk in a heavy Glaswegian accent, this accent may be correctly written but it is very difficult to understand the words, which distracted from the main story.

There isn’t much of plot  and the characters are not particularly likeable, both seem to be using each other to make themselves feel better about themselves, although there does appear to be some genuine affection between them.

In a way this book reminded me of a Harold Pinter play, lot’s of people talking, without much going on at all, the key with Pinter is that his plays only worked if performed by extremely strong actors, in a book there is no actor to carry the narration.

Unusually for this style of book there is no romance between the two main characters, which I actually liked, as men and women  can be friends without needing to have a fling. This was a nice touch but could not save the book from being a disappointment.

I gave this only 2 out of 5*

About Andrea Pryke

I have been collecting Marilyn Monroe items since 1990 and the collection includes around 400 books, as well as films, documentaries, dolls, records and all sorts of other items
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