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John Neil Munro was born in Campbeltown and raised in Stornoway. He studied modern and economic history at Glasgow University then completed a postgraduate journalism course in Cardiff during the late 1980s. His previous publications include The Sensational Alex Harvey (Firefly Publishing, 2002, reprinted by Polygon, 2008), Some People are Crazy (2010) and When George Came to Edinburgh (2010).
September 2013 eBook of the Month. An unintentional author and an unintentional international bestseller and film. How did Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting get written and why did it change literature so profoundly. John Neil Munro is a long-time friend of Welsh and he shows how the novel took shape, consulting some of the key players who had a part to play in the success of the novel. Like for Like ReadingCarspotting: The Real Adventures of Irvine Welsh, Sandy MacnairTrainspotting, Irvine Welsh A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'John Neil Munro has written several successful music biographies for Polygon, so we had no hesitation in commissioning his account of the whole Trainspotting phenomenon. John Neil is an old friend of Irvine's which adds a special intimacy to the book. Even if you’re not a fan of Welsh’s writing the story of how a white-collar council worker penned one of the most influential books of the twentieth century is astonishing.' - Alison Rae, Polygon Editorial Manager
Glasgow-born Alex Harvey's career began in the 1950s when he won a competition to become Scotland's answer to Tommy Steele (he dubbed himself 'Last of the Teenage Idols'). He was a devoted family man but in front of an audience he became an unforgettable entertainer - charismatic, provocative and intense. The Sensational Alex Harvey Band eventually became one of the most exciting live acts of the 1970s - taking in Jacques Brel, rock and vaudeville. But Harvey's life offstage was beset by tragedy and his own alcoholism: his younger brother, Les, was electrocuted on stage; his manager and friend Billy Fehilly was killed in a plane crash. Eventually with his band in tatters, Alex sank into a sea of alcohol, finally succumbing to a fatal heart attack whilst waiting for a ferry home from a gig in Belgium in 1982, the day before his 47th birthday.