Paradise Road is the story of Kevin McGarry, a young man from the Glasgow area who as a youngster wasone of the most talented footballers of his generation in Scotland. Through a combination of injury anddisillusionment, Kevin is forced to abandon any thoughts he has of playing the game he loves professionally. Instead he settles for following his favourite team Glasgow Celtic, as a spectator, while at the same timeresignedly and with a characteristically wry Scottish sense of humour, trying to eke out a living as a joiner.
The book examines some of the major themes affecting football today such as the power and role of themedia, standards in the Scottish game and the sectarianism which pervades not only football in Glasgow but also the wider community. More than simply a novel about football or football fandom, it offers a portrait ofthe character and experiences of a section of the Irish, Catholic community in the West of Scotland.
Paradise Road gives a voice to an important segment of Scottish society usually ignored in literature. Usingtheir own language, it powerfully articulates the concerns of young, working-class men, struggling to come toterms with modern, post-industrial Scotland. The novel chronicles their obsession with football, casual sex,drink and drugs and offers a road to redemption and meaning, with a European dimension. Paradise Roadwill be seen as a powerful addition to the current debate on some of the key issues affecting contemporaryScotland.
Stephen O’Donnell was born in Glasgow. After working in Scotland, London and Prague, he has returned home as a full- time writer. Currently halfway through his next book, Stephen will be a welcome intellectual addition to the Scottish literary scene.
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