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The Magic Flute

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  47 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
To learn the flute or drums and to march with the band in the Orange Parade was a way of life for many young Protestant boys growing up in 60s and 70s Glasgow, but then social change brought new opportunities, widened horizons and Tam found a passport to the new worlds of psychedelia and drugs.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 8th 1991 by Transworld Publishers Ltd
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Jack Deighton
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Starting from the point at which their destinies are about to diverge The Magic Flute chronicles the lives of four pupils from the same Glasgow Primary School, Tam, Brian, George and Eddie, from when they are about to move on to Secondary School at the turn of 1950s/60s up till just after John Lennon’s death in 1980. When the book starts two are shortly to sit the bursary exam for the fee-paying High School, two to progress to the local Junior Secondary. They all make their way to audition for t ...more
Picked this up because Spence was the writer-in-residence when I was at Aberdeen Uni.

Think this is a novel more about rites of passage and snapshots of an era because I never really got a handle on who the characters were, rather than what they did. But then, a dominant theme was that they boys became predestined products of their respective upbringings, so maybe that's to be expected. In that respect, I suppose Malcolm, who follows his own chaotic path, is something of a barometer against whom
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Alan Spence (born 1947) is a Scottish writer and is Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Aberdeen, where he is also artistic director of the annual WORD Festival. He was born in Glasgow, and much of his work is set in the city.

Spence is an award-winning poet and playwright, novelist and short-story writer. His first work was the collection of short stories Its Colours They are Fine,
More about Alan Spence