Dirt Road by James Kelman

Into the Wild

Read Dirt Road Online Free - From the Booker Prizewinning James Kelman, comes a road trip through the American South

'The truth is he didn't care how long he was going away. Forever would have suited him. It didn't matter it was America.'

Murdo, a teenager obsessed with music, wishes for a life beyond the constraints of his Scottish island home and dreams of becoming his own man. Tom, battered by loss, stumbles backwards towards the future, terrified of losing his dignity, his control, his son and the last of his family life. Both are in search of something new as they set out on an expedition into the American South. On the road we discover whether the hopes of youth can conquer the fears of age. Dirt Road is a major novel exploring the brevity of life, the agonising demands of love and the lure of the open road.

It is also a beautiful book about the power of music and all that it can offer. From the understated serenity of Kelman's prose emerges a devastating emotional power.

Title : Dirt Road
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1782118225
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 512 pages


Angela M rated it ★★★☆☆

June 14, 2016

3.5 stars A Father and son share the loss of wife and mother, daughter and sister yet seemingly bear their grief alone . There's a strain in the relationship of 17 year old Murdo and his father Tom and they don't talk very much . They set out on a trip from Scotland to visit relatives in Alabama...

Paromjit rated it ★★★★★

May 15, 2016

I have loved the work of the under appreciated James Kelman, and I felt no different towards The Dirt Road. Those familiar with his work will feel at home with his use of the vernacular, the disregard for grammatical conventions and the stream of consciousness approach that makes us vividly reali...

Bettie☯ rated it ★★☆☆☆

July 31, 2016

BABT http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07knqy5 1/10 Reeling from a family bereavement, young musician Murdo and his father prepare to leave Scotland for a road trip to the Southern States of America. 2/10 Murdo's American road trip gets off to the worst possible start as he and his dad find themselv...

Phil rated it ★☆☆☆☆

October 27, 2017

The prose is a stream of consciousness; uncensored thoughts which splurge from the protagonist's mind, taking the form of a monologue written by a young, aspiring musician who visits America with his father after the death of his mother. For me the text was tedious ...and despite all efforts to fi...

K rated it ★★★★★

July 07, 2017

I enjoyed this book so much, it is the slowest I've ever read a book because I didn't want it to end. It's about travel, love, loss, music and a son's relationship with his Dad.

Bernard rated it ★★★☆☆

July 30, 2016

The first thing to happen to Murdo, the star of James Kelman's intimate first-person narrative, is that he realises that he's gone on holiday without his phone. As he and his dad catch the ferry to take them from their Scottish island home, Murdo checks his pockets and discovers that he's left hi...

Neil rated it ★★★★★

August 21, 2016

A beautiful book. It's been a few years since I'd read any Kelman, and at first I had my doubts - the voice seemed somewhat repetitive and I worried that he was going to stray into full-on working-class polemic. But a little of the way in Murdo stumbles across musicians near a convenience store a...

Leah rated it ★☆☆☆☆

October 05, 2016

Road trip to the basement... A young boy and his father, grieving for the recent loss of the boy's mother and the longer ago loss of his sister, go on a trip to visit relatives in America. While there, Murdo meets up with a family of musicians, who invite him to play his accordion (annoyingly spel...

Eric rated it ★★★★★

July 25, 2016

Dirt Road is the first book I’ve read by Scottish writer James Kelman. It may not be representative of his usual work as I believe he has a reputation for writing novels that invoke Glaswegian patterns of speech which make it difficult for people unfamiliar with this dialect to understand. His Bo...

Paul rated it ★★★★★

July 29, 2016

James Kelman is really on top form here. A recently bereaved father and son travel to America to have a break with émigré relatives there. Viewed from the perspective of the son they both deal with the situation in their own way. All the characters, their thoughts and dialogue ring so true that I...

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