Friday, May 30, 2008

Jeff Torrington

Jeff Torrington has died, aged 72. Swing hammer swing! is a very fine novel with an extraordinary voice and a truly dynamic drive. Torrington was a typical Scots autodidact and, as such, is generally ignored by the fashionable cognoscenti. That Swing Hammer Swing! won the Whitbread is one of the miracles of the modern literary age. You only hope that it wasn't a token gesture, though the fact it seems to be out of print probably points you in the right direction. I've written on here before about use of Scots language and how blinkered people cannot see beyond it to the quality of writing beneath. Jeff spoke it, so he wrote in it. It doesn't alter the skill with which he approached his craft.

Go and read the book.

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