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Way to Go

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  105 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Death is everywhere in this odd novel, a coming-of-age story that dissolves into notes from a funeral business. First US publication for the Scottish Spence. Neil McGraw is a lad in Glasgow, an only child, the son of a dour undertaker permanently embittered by his wife's death during childbirth. Whenever the boy misbehaves, he's locked in the basement among the coffins, so ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published June 3rd 1999 by Phoenix (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

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Joe Norat
Alan Spence's writing is some of the best I've had the privilege of coming across. His ability to write in a style that mimics his topic (death) is uncanny. The plot and writing style are equal parts brusque, eloquent, and beautiful. His characters are robust through the use of telling dialogue and adventure. If one has ever found oneself preoccupied with death, or mortality, this book is extremely relevant, and somehow comforting.
Ewan Wilson
a very strange and macabre novel (but wonderful) with some introspective soul searching which takes the protagonist from Glasgow to London to India and back to Glasgow. more of an examination of soul and life purposes, our attitudes to death and life rather than a plot driven yarn, I thoroughly enjoyed this and it demonstrates Spence's versatility.

Spence is a Buddhist but doesn't ram it down the readers's throat but his protagonist's journey from Glaswegian undertaker's son to enlightened wande
Spence writes with a great style, easily immersive and a book that can be read at breakneck pace. It has helped look upon death more openly than before.
The necessity of taking over his father's undertaker business is depressing, but convincingly told. The protagonist finds a way to bring life back in to the business by looking outside his own door culture. In doing so he brings celebration and happiness to filled at a time where sadness is a dominant response. This is am amusing and surprising tale.
Quite enjoyed this though it was a little outlandish at times and some of the Eastern philosophy bits were up themselves. Next book club meeting we're going to come up with our 3 funeral songs though, so good chats ahead!
Dana Simpson
I really enjoyed this book. It made the subject of death a funny one, but still respectable. It made me think of how I'd like my funeral what shape my coffin would be.
Never before have I read a fiction book with that many references to death or dying; or with that much humour, either.
A Scottish voice about a Scottish view of death with a bitter sweet ending
A stunning novel on one man's twisted relationship with death and life.
Alison Donnelly
Scotland's prequel to "Eat, Pray, Love". But not really.
surprisingly entertaining book about death.
Neda Pavlovic
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