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The Tailor of Inverness

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  38 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
The true story of how a boy who grew up on a farm in Poland came to be a tailor in Inverness, Scotland. His life spanned most of the 20th century, including the chaos and trauma of the Second World War. This is also the story of how his son set out to discover what had really happened, which differed substantially from the version of events told to him by his father. It is ...more
Paperback, 285 pages
Published June 2013 by Sanstone Press
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Richard Wilcocks
Jan 09, 2016 Richard Wilcocks rated it really liked it
I finally got around to reading the full book version of what began as a play which won a Fringe First at a recent Edinburgh Festival. Matthew Zajac, the author, was its only actor (with a musician) and its director with Dogstar Theatre Company and no, I didn't see it, though I have watched a tantalisingly brief clip from a videoed performance on YouTube. The book also deserves some kind of award, perhaps one for casting a light on Poland before and after its period of Stalin-imposed communism, ...more
James Robertson
Sep 22, 2013 James Robertson rated it really liked it
Matthew Zajac, a playwright and actor, first told the story of his father's amazing life in an award-winning play, The Tailor of Inverness, which has toured the world since its original performance at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2009. Now he has written a fuller, prose version of the story. His father settled in Inverness, Scotland after the Second World War, and worked as a tailor. His children of course always knew of his Polish origins, and they knew that he had arrived in Scotland only after an ...more
Janet MacLeod Trotter
May 14, 2014 Janet MacLeod Trotter rated it it was amazing
An absorbing read and a fascinating window into life in Eastern Europe and the terrible disruption of the 2nd World War. It's both travelogue (wryly amusing childhood journeys by car from Scotland to Poland in the 60s)and family history, set against the backdrop of countries divided up first by the Nazis and then the Russians. It told me much about Polish and Ukrainian history that I knew little about - a story that seems all the more relevant in the recent turmoil of today's Ukraine.
Matthew rev
Feb 07, 2014 Linda rated it liked it
The write up I read about this book made it seem far more mysterious than it actually was.

I did enjoy the book though at times I found the writing to be a bit flowery which I felt didn't fit with the content. The author told the story of his early life and visits to his father's country of birth and what he believed to have been his father's experience of the war. After his father's death he discovers that what he had been told was not what actually happened. It was a very interesting read and
Jun 01, 2015 Maureen rated it it was amazing
A young man from Poland escapes Soviet control and immigrates to Scotland as the Iron Curtain drops across a divided Europe . He revises some critical details about his military service WWII so he can be demobilized by the Americans and accepted in his new country. He sets up shop as a tailor, starts a family, and becomes respected in Inverness as the best tailor of bespoke clothing. After his life comes to a close, his son uncovers his father's unenhanced history during the war.
May 28, 2014 Carol rated it liked it
A little confused in its style and our readers group spotted quite a few inconsistencies. Nevertheless it was an interesting insight into the migration and settlement of families during and after WWII.
Jean M
Interesting book. I would certainly like to see the play (which the author wrote before the book) to see how his father is portrayed and to reinforce my new knowledge of the WWII Ukrainian/Polish horrors.
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