It is written in Scottish dialect (it took me a while to remember that 'greeting' means wailing). It is powerful and bleak. It reminded me of Eros Island by Tony Hanania in the wonderful use of language and the nihilistic and sybaritic lifestyle of the young people, although it is told in linear chronology and is therefore rather easier to understand.
It is one of those books that, as I read it, seemed to skim off me but I think that there will be aspects of Morvern's desperate seeking after pleasure in the face of brutal reality that I will remember time and time again. This is definitely a book to revisit.
Great lines included:
- “The hidden fact of our world is that theres no point in having desire unless youve money. Every desire is transformed into sour dreams. You get told if you work hard you get money but most work hard and end up with nothing. ... Theres no freedom, no liberty; theres just money. That's the world we've made ... We live off each other's necessities and fancy names for bare faced robbery.” (Punctuation as in the book.)
- "I'd forgot to get something for diluting the voddy and of course the fridge was bare so I opened this bottle of sweet wine and used that to dilute it.”
- “There was a strip of this queer volcanic rock, small pools of water and roundish nodules of stone. It was like the coast had melted then gone hard again.”
August 2019; 229 pages
Written in 1995. Morvern also appears in These Demented Lands (1997) and The Sopranos (1998), also by Alan Warner.
Made into a movie in 2002