"Todays conservative Millennials and Gen Z readers will view all this as if it’s a TikTok from another, more prurient planet, and recoil"
"Pandemics, zombie cities, political coups attempted by inept supervillains – the stuff of fiction invaded real life this year"
"All this is bleak stuff. Delighted as I always am to see my home city represented in fiction, and to rewalk its geography in prose, I also cavil at depictions of Glaswegian life that are unremittingly grim"
"She got up at the end and – wiping tears from her eyes – said it was the best day of her life"
"Don’t expect celebrity tidbits, although there are a few, such as Brad Pitt’s on-set flatulence (hey, he’s only human)"
"My dad had to impale his mother at her funeral, so she wouldn’t become a striga after burial"
"I waded out into the harbour with a jam jar, barefoot, eyes half-closed, trying to get a sense of where the river meets the sea"
"Ruthlessly self-serving and cruel, often cringe-inducingly pretentious, but also, more than anything, a raffish savant"