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The Long Midnight Of Barney Thomson (Barney Thomson #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  658 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Barney Thomson — awkward, diffident, Glasgow barber — lives a life of desperate mediocrity. Shunned at work and at home, unable to break out of a twenty-year rut, each dull day blends seamlessly into the next.

However, there is no life so tedious that it cannot be spiced up by inadvertent murder, a deranged psychopath, and a freezer full of neatly packaged meat.

Barney Thom
Kindle Edition
Published (first published December 2nd 2003)
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Oct 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
'The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson' oozes black humour just as much as it does sticky red blood. By day Barney Thomson is a slave to his trade as a Glasgow barber, an accidental serial killer in the evenings, and one hell of a laugh 24/7. Making light of his dark intentions, Lindsay crafts a protagonist more suited to sitcom than death row. From subtle taunts and a general lack of recognition of his skill in the workplace spawns murderous thoughts, acted upon in dream scape, then played out in ...more
Nigel Bird
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Man walks into a barber's. Asks for a Tony Curtis. Falls asleep as the barber sets to work. When he wakes up, he's bald as Yul Brynner. "I asked for a Tony Curtis, you fool." "Aye," says the barber. "It's what he'd get if he came in here."
Hair-cutting, like many other things in life, is related to confidence. When we meet Barney ThomPson, he's all out of it.

Things have got so bad that men will pass up the chance of a haircut from Barney even if it means they need to stay in the shop for an ext
Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wife so pre-occupied with TV soaps, she barely manages to have a conversation; a more than a bit dottled 84 year old mother who’s an enthusiastic devotee of TV quiz shows with the most bizarre titles; and work colleagues he cannot abide. This is the most humdrum life of poor, wretched, miserable Barney Thomson, a barber living in Glasgow. However, everything is soon to change - a serial killer is on the loose and the ensuing carnage presents Barney with almost insurmountable challenges.

I had l
Brenda Seaberg
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! It had a great mix of knowns and unknowns throughout it for my liking. It was another of those 'how can things turn even worse?' - yet it managed to happen. And now I find that this is part of a series. Well, I'm definitely going forward with this batch!
Mar 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-2013

Continua la mia entusiastica scoperta del noir (non è mai troppo tardi) con una deviazione verso la pinta aggiuntiva dell'humor, dove tutta la faccenda sembra più una commedia di chi gioca a impacciarsi di più nella situazione proposta che una vera e propria scalata meditata come La morte paga doppio.
Non siamo davanti a gente incappottata con la pistola in mano pronta a far fuori a sangue freddo chi si mette di mezzo, ma ad barbiere di provincia a cui girano un po' le palle per i maltrattam
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barney Thomson is no one's idea of a hero. He's about as faulty as a protagonist can be. He's a barber who believes in his own greatness (solely so), yet admits to giving out atrocious haircuts more often than not. The women in his life, his wife and his mother, both ignore him in favor of the most insanely hilarious soap operas and quiz shows. His customers don't like him, his coworkers don't like him. His life is sh*t or, since it's in Scotland, sh*te. He's just not a likable, nice or particul ...more
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vaguely amusing, mostly due to the soap opera storylines running in the background, this ridiculous story kept me engaged a while. I didn't warn to the character, and with each new revelation mentally rolled my eyes at the New development, but it was good fun.
Might read another.
Apr 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant! Superb dark-humoured Glaswegian murders. Haven't enjoyed a book quite as much since Euphemia MacFarrigle and the Laughing Virgin.
Rob Kitchin
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson is a comedy noir, thickly laced with black humour. The story is not particularly complicated, but is very well told, and there are three strong twists in the book that the rotate the plot ninety degrees each time to good effect. The dialogue and wit (or talking pish in the books terms) in the barber scenes is excellent, as is the running commentary on the soap operas Barney’s wife watches, and the banter between the detectives. I laughed out loud several times ...more
Oct 21, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Awful awful awful. This book is dire and I found myself questioning why I was carrying on with it all the way through to the end
Definitely a dark humoured book, though I didn't find it very dark or very humorous.
It bored me, 100%.
The most infuriating thing was the ending, left on a cliffhanger, a free ebook when the next one is not so free... As it is a short book it just feels like you've been given the first half for free. I felt cheated out of a couple of hours of my life.
Sorry, but this ju
Barrie Penman
Currentyly free on kindle

Set in Glasgow.
Nice use of old and current Glasgow street dialect/slang.
The characters are a typical bunch of Weegie chanty wrastlers. The plot develops slowly and unbelievably bizarrely. Just when you think things cannot get worse, guess what.
Reminds me of the Wilt series by Tom Sharpe.
One of the few books that had me laughing out loud.
Will read defo read other books in this series.
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was entertaining but I felt it was intended to be a serious crime novel and read a bit silly , with a silly story line. It did however leave me wondering what happened next. I might actually pick up book two.
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Our hero is a serial killer. Not in the sense that Dexter is a serial killer. More like Barney Fife meets Mr Bean.

A great dark sense of humor!

Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Absolutely brilliant-as a scotsman- wonderful story and fab language-loved it.Now for book 2.Yippee.Mon the Barney.......
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scottish-fiction
Scottish Black Humour at its very best.
Nov 15, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Moloch by: Da una recensione sul Corriere (riferita però al secondo libro della serie, Il monastero dei lunghi coltelli)
Ho impiegato qualche giorno per decidere quale libro iniziare dopo Ritratti famosi di comuni animali . Ne ho talmente tanti a casa (e un altro è in arrivo, se le Poste si svegliano) e nella Lista Dei Libri Da Leggere (la Madre di tutte le liste, dalla lunghezza spropositata, che non oso postare qui perché supereremmo il record di righe di pochi giorni fa), che è sempre un dramma sceglierne uno. Alla fine ho optato per un romanzo, anche se non mi piace il fatto che non abbia mai voglia di ciment ...more
Phill Connell
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book simply because I'd seen the movie and loved it. It was clear that the novel would be good, but I didn't know how much I'd enjoy it. The pleasant surprise is that the movie doesn't follow the plot precisely, so the enjoyment is slightly different.
Although set in Glasgow, this is a story that could take place anywhere in the world. The discomfort, the farce, the characters all serve to make this a great piece of escapism.
Recommended - by me, at any rate.
Mar 01, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Overall: It's a short read, and it was a free ebook I found in the iBookstore. I was quite happy when it was over. While the character of Barney Thomson is interesting, the plot is too predictable, and the jokes quickly get old.

The Good: Barney Thomson is initially a fun character to watch. He is an incredibly, unremarkable man who finds himself in extraordinarily, bizarre circumstances. There's a great scene that gives you a good sense of his character. He works in a barber shop, and the shop's
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heard about this series over summer when there was some news about it becoming a movie and decided to give it a go. The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson takes place in present day Glasgow about this middle age barber named Barney Thomson whose life is complete misery where he goes to work at this barbershop dealing with his colleagues who he believes are not only incompetent but are more popular than him then comes home to a wife who spends more time watching Australian soaps than hearing Barney ...more
Karin Montin
Barney Thomson is barely competent and bitter, resentful of his two fellow barbers, Chris and Wullie, with their customers who wait for them and their easy patter. His boring wife watches soaps day and night. His demented mother watches quiz programs and simmers sinister stews. On a good night out he beats his friend at dominos. On a bad day at work he accidentally kills a colleague. And a couple of days later, the other. Really, they were accidents! There’s a slight problem though: he’s told hi ...more
Feb 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comical, fiction, oddity
The basic premise of this novel is Barney Thomas, a forty-something barber who lives a pretty dull and boring life. He finds himself thinking of murder, being fed up of the rut that he is in, but he has no one to talk to, his wife is more interested in soaps than him and his 80-odd year old mother is more interested in quiz shows... Then he finds himself embroiled in a lot of murder, by complete and utter accident.

I have been trying to figure out how I actually feel about this book... It was enj
Stuart McMillan
In the same stable as Chris Brookmyre, but mebbe not having the polish or panache of Chris, Douglas Lindsay's Glasgow vernacular manages to capture the ennui of a barber's shop without flinching from the inner turmoil of the petty exchanges that drive Barney (almost literally) insane.

As a scene setter for the series, it's a slower burner than I would have expected. Barney is a low-wage snipster making his way in the ultra competitive (?) world of barbery in Glasgow.

Cue loads of in jokes about ha
Benedict Reid
Written in a fast-paced and witty style, ‘The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson’ would have been an enjoyable and relaxing read, if it were not for the detailed descriptions of dismembered bodies and cannibalism.
Ever since ‘American Psycho’ raised the stakes in the late eighties, sick and gory tales of serial killers have been a mainstay of the paperback fiction market. One trend has been the ever increasing list of shock-comedy-mass murder novels. While these tales can make reasonably good films
Slawka Scarso
Black humour and grotesque characters. Barney Thomson is a barber from Glasgow, a loser who works in the shadow of two younger colleauges, with a wife who only pays attention to soap operas and an eccentric mother to say the least.
Once the plot really starts, it's a sequence of surreal coincidences, bad decisions and grotesque situations.
The only big defect of this book is that the action only starts at page 60 or so. Until then, I really made an effort not to give up. Given the book is only 2
Dec 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barney Thomson is a barber. A barber that believes he is brilliant yet the customers often wait for the other barbers rather than let him near their hair. In his personal life he is ignored by his wife who is addicted to soaps, his domineering mother (who is also addicted to soaps) and covets the life of his brother. There comes a point where the downtrodden can decide to stand up for themselves and their beliefs, this is where Barney hits new levels of stupidity.

This book is full of characters
Pat Kahn
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I read that a movie was being made with two of my favorite actors, Robert Carlyle and Emma Thompson (playing his mother of all things, called the Legend of Barney Thomson it aroused my curiosity. Especially interesting were the comments that it was a black comedy about a serial killer, not usually a humorous topic. Then I discovered that there are 7 books in the series, even more interesting. Cheap for Kindle so I decided to read the first book (they changed the title). I thoroughly enjoyed ...more
Nicki Markus
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson was a joy from start to finish. It's a delicious black comedy that reminds me of the musical Sweeney Todd and the film The Green Butchers. The book had me laughing out loud and left me with a smile on my face.

I only discovered this series because Robert Carlyle just finished principal photography on a film version in which he plays Barney (and directs), and as I was reading, I could picture him so perfectly in the role that I cannot wait to see the movie next
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Totalmente surreale e divertente, questo noir dal protagonista improbabile. Impossibile non ridere delle disavventure di Barney, che per quanto macabre, sono davvero talmente irreali da strappare una risata (è sconsigliato leggere questo libro in luoghi pubblici, siete avvisati). Il tutto condito da uno stile davvero frizzante (peccato per la traduzione...ok che la "sgrammaticatura" sarà stata voluta nell'originale, ma in alcuni punti fa accapponare la pelle...più delle scene semi-splatter descr ...more
Jan 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
it took me a long time to get into this book, in fact I started it over and over again for months (reading other books between) but finally read it on holiday and I'm glad I did. after the beginning, which is far too slow and dull it takes a turn and ends up being a funny, bizarre and some what interesting read. not in the style of anything I have read before but I did enjoy it, I have the whole box set of these on my kindle and shall see how I go. give it a chance, it gets better and quite inte ...more
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A four and a half star read. This is not out loud laughing funny but more internal smile with nod of recognition and agreement at the fine observation of the author. He has an ear for language and eye for the weird foibles and actions of his subjects. It reminded me a little of Jeff Torrington's “Swing Hammer Swing”. His style is easy but places you instantly with his characters.
I loved the hairstyle naming and the typically human, idiot things Barney sometimes does. This is a good read and hear
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Goodreads Librari...: Request to combine editions 3 149 Apr 02, 2013 10:24PM  
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Other Books in the Series

Barney Thomson (7 books)
  • The Cutting Edge of Barney Thomson (Barney Thomson, #2)
  • Murderers Anonymous (Barney Thomson, #3)
  • The King Was In His Counting House (Barney Thomson, #4)
  • The Last Fish Supper (Barney Thomson, #5)
  • The Haunting of Barney Thomson (Barney Thomson, #6)
  • The Final Cut (Barney Thomson, #7)

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