This Road is Red

This Road is Red

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Alison Irvine

ISBN: 1st edition - 9781906817817; 2nd edition - 9781910021538

Binding: paperback

In stock

Shortlisted for the Saltire Society First Book of the Year Award 2011

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Back cover text:

It is 1964. Red Road is rising out of the fields. To the families who move in, it is a dream and a shining future.

It is 2010. The Red Road Flats are scheduled for demolition. Inhabited only by intrepid asylum seekers and a few stubborn locals, the once vibrant scheme is tired and out of time.

Between these dates are the people who filled the flats with laughter, life and drama. Their stories are linked by the buildings; the sway and buffet of the tower blocks in the wind, the creaky lifts, the views and the vertigo.

This Road is Red is a compelling and subtle novel of Glasgow.


In 'This Road Is Red', Alison Irvine does for Glasgow what Irvine Welsh has done for Edinburgh - imagining a city through its fringes, fearlessly and without frills. In fact, 'This Road Is Red' goes one better than 'Trainspotting' by bringing to life a whole scheme in the sky, not through the interconnected tales of a handful of individuals, but by opening a hundred windows onto a whole community across two generations, so that the reader can hear a town talking on every page. Her book is publicised as a novel but plays with the conventions of non-fiction, including what appear to be direct testimonials of people who first lived in the flats when they were erected in 1964, to those at the end. It s a combination that works well...   The Herald

It sounds odd to talk of a book providing an obituary for a housing scheme, but in many ways that is exactly what This Road is Red is doing: and in the process helping record a way of life that is about to disappear.   Undiscovered Scotland

This is a beautifully written tale of life in a high-rise housing scheme . . . Alison Irvine's first book is a fine tribute to the people of the Red Road and a great account of how human solidarity can prevail in even the bleakest circumstances.   The Socialist Review, Willy Maley

Irvine's stories are by turns sad, frightening, moving, dark, occasionally wickedly funny and always compelling.   The Morning Star