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The Scottish Book of the Dead

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  14 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Life and death sometimes intersect at the oddest angles. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Adam’s dad dies. At the same time, an earthquake hits his small Scottish town, tearing a hole in the ground as the lives of his mother and estranged relations are torn fresh wounds. The Scottish Book of the Dead is a roadmap to the afterlife, moving through haunted supermarket n ...more
Paperback, 243 pages
Published October 20th 2018 by Island city Publishing LLC
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Brendan Gisby
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An Extraordinary Death

I’ve long been an admirer of the work of fellow-Scottish author Gavin Broom in the form of his short stories. Those stories are usually filled with pathos, with that special brand of wry humour found only in the Lowlands of Scotland, and with the suppressed anger common to many working-class Scots for the wrongs of the past that continue into the present.

I believe The Scottish Book of the Dead is Broom’s first foray into noveldom, providing him with a bigger canvas on which
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I am a friend of the author and read an early draft of this book, Gavin Broom’s debut novel.

Having said that, I would recommend The Scottish Book of the Dead to anyone interested in a good read. Gavin has taken something old (the 3,500 year-old Egyptian Book of the Dead) and brought it up-to-date with his own blend of dark humour, pathos, and skilful storytelling.

The four “books” follow a distinct and well-thought-out narrative arc, culminating in a satisfying resolution. The author
Charlie Gracie
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book takes you into the guts of a fractured family in the aftermath of a death. Old enmities, old pains flow in the novel’s veins. Told from the perspective of four characters, the narrative weaves around the family’s tense life. It never feels overloaded, and resolution is always just out of reach, implied creatively in Gavin Broom’s direct, often surreal narrative. The story swings wonderfully across continents, time and realities. Dialect and language are well-handled, giving the charact ...more
Jean Thewlis
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is really original. It weaves in and out between members of one family. They are all amazingly well drawn characters and their lives are intertwined in an intriguing way, leaving you in wonderful and chilling suspense about which member you are following at any one time. It is also an investigation into the emotions centring around death. This, however, is dealt with in a humorous and quirky way, making it as funny as it is serious.
P.S. An understanding of Scottish lowland dialect mig
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tale that sucked me in from the beginning. Although its execution was different than anything I had ever come across, it was simple enough with just a handful of characters to work smoothly. Tied up nicely in the end, the reader still has the freedom to draw his own conclusions about what just happened. Which doesn't happen often, in my experience.

If you can get past the Scottish dialogue (which I did eventually), the story itself will keep you wanting more.
Tim Lane
Gavin Broom’s novel is compelling at times, entertaining at others. The different perspectives of the main character’s father’s death feel right and drew me in, and the final section is inventive and moving. Who knows what happens when we die? Broom tosses his idea of it all into the ring, and it’s not a bad one. The ending moved me to tears.
May 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Dennis Swan
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading the novel I was oddly reminded of the '70's 'A Clockwork Orange' by British author Anthony Burgess. You'll need a long afternoon in front of a warm fire to fully savory this quirky novel about grief and dysfunctional families in the modern era. Author and poet Gavin Broom have outdone himself on this soul-searching question of the age-old dilemma concerning life and death.
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Gavin Broom is a Scotsman who was transplanted into the United States in 2012. He can be found on Monday evenings at Darb’s Patio, playing trivia and sipping Laphroaig. At other times he can be found in his kitchen baking bread rolls that other people eat.

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