'The truth is he didn't care how long he was going away. Forever would have suited him. It didn't matter it was America.'
Murdo, a teenager obsessed with music, wishes for a life beyond the constraints of his Scottish island home and dreams of becoming his own man. Tom, battered by loss, stumbles backwards towards the future, terrified of losing his dignity, his control, his son and the last of his family life. Both are in search of something new as they set out on an expedition into the American South. On the road we discover whether the hopes of youth can conquer the fears of age. Dirt Road is a major novel exploring the brevity of life, the agonising demands of love and the lure of the open road.
It is also a beautiful book about the power of music and all that it can offer. From the understated serenity of Kelman's prose emerges a devastating emotional power.
Something else for the to-do list.
"Dirt Road is brilliant, a deeply moving and exciting novel. The words feel so believable I forgot at times that I was reading fiction" (RODDY DOYLE)
"Kelman in the American South, with a zydeco lilt, proves irresistible - a thrilling return from one of our most essential novelists" (KEVIN BARRY)
"In writing as pure as this, language becomes the very bones and meat of the characters. I am not transported by these sentences into Murdo's world; I am Murdo" (ROSS RAISIN)
"In Dirt Road James Kelman brings alive a human consciousness like no other writer can" (ALAN WARNER)
"Probably the most influential novelist of the post-war period" (The Times)
"A true original . . . A real artist" (IRVINE WELSH Guardian)
"The greatest British novelist of our time" (Sunday Herald)
"A writer of world stature, a 21st century Modern" (Scotsman)
"The greatest living British novelist" (Amit Chaudhuri)
"To call him a great Scottish writer would be accurate; to call him simply a great writer would be more concise" (Herald)
From the Booker Prizewinning James Kelman, comes a road trip through the American South
About the Author
James Kelman was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1989 with A Disaffection, which also won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. He went on to win the Booker Prize five years later with How Late it Was, How Late, before being shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2009 and 2011.