by Neil Stewart - £8.99 Little, Brown Book Group (2015)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781472113115 | ISBN 10: 147211311x
Set in Glasgow, this is a bitter-sweet story about two very different people trying to survive very different kinds of crises. Funny, sad and tender, The Glasgow Coma Scale is a richly layered novel: it announces a major new literary talent.
When Lynne offers money to a homeless man on Glasgow's Sauchiehall Street she is shocked to recognise Angus, her former art tutor from college. Lynne once revered him, even dreamed of becoming an artist under his tutelage. Now, she works as a supervisor at an insurance call-centre. And as for Angus, he has fallen on even harder times . . .
She insists on inviting him to stay at her flat, but just as Angus doesn't go out of his way to explain the reasons for his misfortune, neither is Lynne's insistence on taking him in to her home purely altruistic.
The Glasgow Coma Scale is a barbed love letter to the city, a dysfunctional romance, and a story about damage: the kind done unthinkingly, the kind done deliberately, and the worst sort - the harm we do even as we're trying to do 'the right thing'.
(Price & availability last checked: August 2015)