Since 1981, when Lanark was published by Canongate, Alasdair Gray has published twenty books, most of them novels and short stories. In his own words, 'Alasdair Gray is a fat, spectacled, balding, increasingly old Glaswegian pedestrian who has mainly lived by writing and designing books, most of them fiction.'
I was absolutely knocked out by Lanark. I think it's the best in Scottish literature this century -- Iain Banks Probably the greatest novel of the century . . . it marked the beginning of a new era -- James Campbell * * Observer * * It was time Scotland produced a shattering work of fiction in the modern idiom. This is it . . . [Gray is] the best Scottish novelist since Sir Walter Scott -- Anthony Burgess When dawn comes up and retires in dismay, we find ourselves in the presence of an overpowering surreal imagination. A saga of a city where reality is about as reliable as a Salvador Dali watch -- Brian Aldiss A quite extraordinary achievement, the most remarkable thing in Scottish fiction for a very long time. It has changed the landscape -- Allan Massie * * The Scotsman * * Undoubtedly the best work of fiction written by a Scottish author for decades * * Time Out * * Remarkable. . . Lanark is a work of loving and vivid imagination, yielding copious riches -- William Boyd * * Times Literary Supplement * * From a lesser writer, stygian darkness and baroque structure might see off a mass audience and reduce a book to cult status. In Gray's hands, the simple, direct prose found him a wide readership. * * The Times * * A phantasmagorical mixture of realism and fantasy * * The List * * In some ways it's even more relevant today. It's such an elaborate work of both fantasy and political satire, a sort of Gulliver's Travels for 20th Century Scotland * * Scotland on Sunday * *