It’s the year punk rock was born, Concorde entered commercial service and a tiny Romanian gymnast changed the sport forever…
Archie Blunt is a man with big ideas. He just needs a break for them to be realised. In a bizarre brush with the light- entertainment business, Archie unwittingly saves the life of the UK’s top showbiz star, Hank ‘Heady’ Hendricks, and immediately seizes the opportunity to aim for the big time. With dreams of becoming a musical impresario, he creates a new singing group called The High Five with five unruly working-class kids from Glasgow’s East End. The plan? Make it to the final of Heady’s Saturday night talent show, where fame and fortune awaits…
But there’s a complication. Archie’s made a fairly major misstep in his pursuit of fame and fortune, and now a trail of irate Glaswegian bookies, corrupt politicians and a determined Scottish WPC are all on his tail…
Today is my turn on the tour for Welcome to the Heady Heights by David F. Ross and I want to thank Anne Cater for inviting me on to the tour and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for my copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.
This is my first book by David F. Ross and I had no idea what to expect so I have to say that what I discovered kind of took my breath away. It is really exciting when you find a writing who is very different with a distinct voice and this is definitely something that can be said about this author.
This book is set in the Glasgow of the 1970’s, and the setting and period of the book are as much characters in the story as the people who populate the pages. The mindset of the era is unique and makes for vibrant, but uncomfortable, reading at a time when many of the issues of the time are being addressed for the lasting harm they did to people. This book explores the power and corruption that was at the heart of society at the time and the way the people who wielded it believed they answered to no one.
All of the characters in this book are writ larger than life and jump off the page. Optimistic Archie Blunt, East End nobody with big dreams and an eye for a chance that finds he may have bitten off more than he can chew. Put upon WPC Barbara Sherman who has to put up with appalling harassment and belittlement at work; some of her scenes will make any modern woman wince whilst reading. Gail Porter, a journalist with a personal vendetta underpinning her work, Jamesie Campbell, a politician who gets things done, in his own way. Some of these characters aren’t pleasant, but they are all fascinating to read.
This is a book dealing with violence, corruption, menace and brutality in a way that pulls no punches but is underpinned with a vein of dark humour which carried me through the read. It was obvious that, despite painting a dark picture of this world, the writer has huge affection for the era, the setting and the ordinary people trying to make their way in it while the odds were stacked against them and all the power rested with people who didn’t play by the rules.
A tumultuous, thought-provoking rollercoaster of a read that spotlights a time and place in history that has had a long-lasting effect on people but hopefully is teaching us something about how far we have come and what we still need to do to better society. With a great soundtrack along the way. Bold and innovative storytelling that makes for an exciting read, exactly what fans have come to expect from an Orenda book.
Welcome to the Heady Heights will be published on 21 March and you can pre-order your copy here.
To follow the rest of the tour, please visit the blogs listed on the poster below:
About the Author
David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over thirty years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His most prized possession is a signed Joe Strummer LP. Since the publication of his debut novel The Last Days of Disco, he’s become something of a media celebrity in Scotland, with a signed copy of his book going for £500 at auction, and the German edition has not left the bestseller list since it was published.
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