Manual Laidlaw (Laidlaw Trilogy Book 1)

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KJ Lamb. James Buchan. Andrew Taylor. Laidlaw William McIlvanney.

Laidlaw by William McIlvanney | Waterstones

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Andrew Marr: my interviewing style Andrew Marr. Eliot anagrammatic poems Lucy Vickery. Wish list KJ Lamb. Man trapped Evans. Superman Banx. What to read next. Recent crime novels Andrew Taylor. Storm in a wastepaper basket Allan Massie. Latest Books Podcasts. The Queen, and indeed the British public, deserve better than The Crown's lies. It was an immersive yet relatively short experience - honed and contained and impactful. The only reasons I am however adjudging this as falling just below a five-star read are that the strong style did at times slightly get in the way.

The focus on Laidlaw as the now increasingly stereotypical troubled enigmatic detective did for me overshadow the other interesting characters and the crime at the centre of the plot. A plot which - though realistic - lacked complexity despite confusing me at times. It seems unfair to criticise a couple of areas in which I felt the novel didn't quite work, when so much of the writing was so impressive, perhaps the contrast throws this into more light.


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Jul 10, Deb Jones rated it it was amazing Shelves: series. Jack Laidlaw may be one the most fascinating and simultaneously exasperating, police detective to come along in the genre. His bend toward philosophical thought can make even the simplest question or comment from another into an existential activity. His home life is divided between the sheer pleasure he receives from parenting his three children and the sometimes quiet, sometimes not, verbal wars with his wife. Laidlaw's policing techniques leave him set apart from his peers and bring him disdain Jack Laidlaw may be one the most fascinating and simultaneously exasperating, police detective to come along in the genre.

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Laidlaw's policing techniques leave him set apart from his peers and bring him disdain from some. A private man, Laidlaw is the subject of speculation among other officers, to which Laidlaw pays no heed. The reading here requires a bit more concentration and effort to understand the complexities of the protagonist, but that effort is rewarded with an excellent plot and multi-faceted characters. Nov 09, John Gaynard rated it it was amazing. For years I heard that Laidlaw by McIlvanney was a classic and the father of all modern Scottish crime novels.

Now that I have read it myself, I can say that I totally agree with this evaluation and I will read as soon as posible the two books McIlvanney wrote after Laidlaw. The dialect can be a little difficult to understand in the beginning, but it is well worth spending a couple of seconds on the first few phrases to get yourself equipped for reading the rest of the book and getting an For years I heard that Laidlaw by McIlvanney was a classic and the father of all modern Scottish crime novels. One of my favorite crime novelists these days is Ian Rankin, dubbed by James Ellroy as "the king of tartan noir.

He's still miles ahead of them, too. Starting with "Laidlaw" in , McIlvanney -- a prize winning "literary" writer -- penned three novels about Jack Laidlaw, a tough but tender detective-philosopher tracking One of my favorite crime novelists these days is Ian Rankin, dubbed by James Ellroy as "the king of tartan noir.

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Starting with "Laidlaw" in , McIlvanney -- a prize winning "literary" writer -- penned three novels about Jack Laidlaw, a tough but tender detective-philosopher tracking criminals and dealing with hard men around Glasgow. I haven't read the other two, but I sure will now. It's not a conventional mystery -- we know who the killer is right from the first chapter, when McIlvanney describes how odd it is to be running through the streets with blood on you. What we don't know is how the plot will then spin and twist and turn as Laidlaw tries to catch the murderer, and in doing so beat several other people to the solution before they can mete out revenge or something like it.

McIlvanney shifts our viewpoint from chapter to chapter, sometimes telling it from the viewpoint of the young copper who's been assigned to assist Laidlaw and sometimes from the viewpoint of minor characters, like a wannabe gangster who winds up in waaaaay over his head and pays dearly for that mistake. The psychological insights that McIlvanney brings to these POV shifts tend to be astonishing, particularly one chapter that takes the viewpoint of a brutal, yet oddly principled gangster whom Laidlaw treats as an equal if not a friend shades of Rankin's own character Morris "Big Ger" Cafferty.

Video Book: William McIlvanney, Laidlaw (Ed. Tranchida)

Another one, which takes the POV of a character who's openly homosexual, seems way ahead of its time. Perhaps the weakest character in the book is Laidlaw himself, who hides books by Camus and other philosophers in his desk drawer, cheats on his wife and then discusses his guilt with his mistress, who calls him "John Knox. It took me about half the book to figure out that when someone says, "What's the gemme?

The climax of the story didn't go at all the way I expected it to, and I didn't feel like McIlvanney had cheated me either. I suppose the only letdown in reading "Laidlaw" is knowing there are only two more books with him as a character. McIlvanney had mentioned in that he was thinking of writing a fourth Laidlaw novel, but he died in without ever publishing another.

Dec 01, Col rated it really liked it Shelves: m , Jack Laidlaw is no ordinary detective. But then Glasgow is no ordinary city. His methods are unorthodox. Some would say dangerously unorthodox. But he knows the city in all its moods; sometimes he seems to know it better than he knows himself. Because as the manhunt gathers pace it seems to him that the city is taking him deeper and deeper into its violent pulsing heart I sought out this book after reading several pieces about it on the net and following it with some reviews from Amazon.

McIlvanney wrote two further novels with Laidlaw as the lead detective.


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  • Laidlaw 2. The Papers of Tony Veitch 3. Laidlaw competes with local vigilantes to try and capture the killer before street justice is dispensed. The books are being reprinted next year by Canongate. Mine came from the Green Metropolis website. Verdict 4 out of 5. Jun 22, Laura rated it liked it. Huge mistake on my part but my advice is, do not do audio. This probably would be an awesome read but I chose the audio which was very hard to follow. The actual book would be easier, I am certain. View 1 comment. I read and enjoyed this book in This year, , I purchased the eBook edition, and matched the audiobook with it, and then found I could follow the story more easily.

    I was determined to read the story. Also, I noticed, after reading the text via the eBook, I read and enjoyed this book in Also, I noticed, after reading the text via the eBook, that the first chapter of the story had a fractured structure, and that was the reason I had difficulty connecting with the story, back in Having the eBook meant that when I got a bit lost within the action via the audio, I could re-read over the section.

    There were quite a few characters in the story so I made a list of them and their relationship to each other to anchor me more firmly. I was keen to read this book because it was highly recommended by Ian Rankin, the author of the Rebus series.