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Scotland for Beginners: Learning to Live in the Land of My Fathers
Max Scratchmann was born the son of a Dundee jute wallah and spent the first six years of his life in India before being taken "home" to Scotland in the bitter winter of 1963. In Scotland for Beginners he tells the often painful, but very funny, story of growing up in the bleak grey-harled bungalows of Dundee's newly-built suburbs and learning to adapt to...
Max Scratchmann was born the son of a Dundee jute wallah and spent the first six years of his life in India before being taken "home" to Scotland in the bitter winter of 1963. In Scotland for Beginners he tells the often painful, but very funny, story of growing up in the bleak grey-harled bungalows of Dundee's newly-built suburbs and learning to adapt to his native land in an era when the very fabric of the nation was changing. Told as a series of humorous vignettes, Scotland for Beginners takes us on a sentimental journey through "auld Dundee" as Max struggles to decipher Scots dialect; buys school clothes from the formidable Miss Hannah at the Peter Street Co-op, and heroically endures the tortures of organised games at the Junior Boys Brigade. Then, as the Sixties become the Seventies and the country is plunged into darkness by power strikes and the Three Day Week, the teenage Max goes girl-chasing at the Ice Rink; falls in love with Sally the prompter at the church drama group, and finally blunders into a dodgy drug deal in a garishly-painted tenement in the Hawkhill. "Vivid, well observed and very, very funny"
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