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It makes yer head go

David Craig: James Kelman and Gordon Legge, 18 February 1999

The Good Times 
by James Kelman.
Secker, 246 pp., £14.99, July 1998, 0 436 41215 2
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Near Neighbours 
by Gordon Legge.
Cape, 218 pp., £9.99, June 1998, 0 224 05120 2
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... at home in the world’. In comparison with The Good Times, or even considered on its own, Gordon Legge’s Near Neighbours gave me the feeling of listening to a tone-deaf pianist plonking away, or of looking at pictures painted by numbers with the broadest brush. On the cover Duncan McLean makes a strenuous effort to enlist ...

Ineffectuals

Peter Campbell, 19 April 1990

The World of Nagaraj 
by R.K. Narayan.
Heinemann, 186 pp., £12.95, March 1990, 0 434 49617 0
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The Great World 
by David Malouf.
Chatto, 330 pp., £12.95, April 1990, 0 7011 3415 1
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The Shoe 
by Gordon Legge.
Polygon, 181 pp., £7.95, December 1989, 0 7486 6080 1
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Trying to grow 
by Firdaus Kanga.
Bloomsbury, 242 pp., £13.95, February 1990, 0 7475 0549 7
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... of people who have, literally, very little to say for themselves. On the other hand, you stay with Gordon Legge’s young, mainly unemployed Scots for their conversation. Even Archie, who doesn’t talk much, can think in his own words rather than the narrator’s. The action is desultory: a trip to Glasgow and a pub brawl are climaxes. For the most ...

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