Paradise Road is the story of Kevin McGarry, a young man from the Glasgow area who as a youngster was one of the most talented footballers of his generation in Scotland. Through a combination of injury and disillusionment, 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 time resignedly 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 the media, 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 of the 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. Using their own language, it powerfully articulates the concerns of young, working-class men, struggling to come to terms 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 Road will be seen as a powerful addition to the current debate on some of the key issues affecting contemporary Scotland.
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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