Docherty is an intense and sometimes painful novel about a working class community in Scotland in the early 1900’s where there is immense hardship and little possibility of escape in the grim lives of the impoverished miners. But there is also enormous warmth in the writing and you feel very much a part of the life of the central character, Tam Docherty, and his family. The novel opens with the birth of Tam’s son Conn, who Tam is determined should have a better life and not go down the pits: ‘Ah’m pittin his name doon fur Prime Minister’, but his idea of higher education for his son is an impossible dream and Conn ends up down the pits as does his brother Angus. Brother Mick goes off to war, Old grandfather Conn moves in with his rocking chair while mother Jenny attempts to hold the whole family together. The hero of the novel is Tam who emerges as the staunch defender of the working classes and their values which are seen as superior to those of the middle classes. A powerful read.
At the end of 1903, in a tough, working-class town in the West of Scotland, Tam Docherty`s youngest son, Conn is born. Tam is determined that life and the pits c won`t swallow up his boy the way it has him. Courageous and questioning, Docherty emerges as a leader of almost indomitable strength, but in a close-knit community tradition is a powerful opponent.
|Publication date:||28th December 2006|
|Publisher:||Hodder & Stoughton General Division|
|Primary Genre||Historical fiction|
Closing date: 12/12/2021
'Here a human history is mined with humour and a clenching sense of its sombre inequities: man's squat but lengthening shadow in the sun' - GUARDIAN
'A penetrating insight into a poor community but one which is wealthy in pride, dignity and zest for life.' - DAILY EXPRESS
William McIlvanney's first novel, Remedy is None, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and with Docherty he won the Whitbread Award for Fiction. Laidlaw and The Papers of Tony Veitch both gained Silver Daggers from the Crime Writers' Association. Strange Loyalties, the third in the Detective Laidlaw trilogy, won the Glasgow Herald's People's Prize.More About William Mcilvanney