July 28, 2017

An old pub near the Angel by James Kelman

An Old Pub Near the Angel was James Kelman’s first collection of short stories. Originally published in the US in 1973, it was finally published in the UK in 2007. The edition I have includes a 1973 interview Kelman gave to The Scotsman, and a long Afterword by the author himself.

The collection of stories is well written and quite enjoyable to pick up from time to time. Each is set among the working classes in Glasgow, and they are distilled down to the minimum number of words – no backstory, we go straight into the narrative. And most is simply conversations between people in bedsits and pubs.

There are 13 short stories in total:An old pub near the Angel by James Kelman

  • The Cards
  • A Roll for Joe
  • Abject Misery
  • He knew him well
  • The Last Night
  • Wednesday
  • Dinner for Two
  • An old pub near the Angel
  • The Best Man Advises
  • Circumstances
  • New Business
  • This Morning
  • Nice to be Nice

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