I was almost put off Tony Black when I’d read Lock & Load a while back, but his short story collection, Killing Time in Vegas, put me right into him. Now The Holy Father has sealed it. A take on the Nativity, it sees footballer Davie Cooper descend into Joe’s bedroom in angel form, telling him that the great man upstairs has put his woman, Mary-Doll, up the duff in the name of uniting Rangers and Celtic, Glasgow’s sectarian rivals. What follows is a merry aping of the Nativity story, with Joe the Rangers man, Mary-Doll the Celtic girl, guided by “Three Wise Cunts” representing Celtic, Motherwell and Aberdeen, in following a star to a ferret-infested shed. It’s hilarious, never putting down the council-estate couple it pokes fun at. It’s written in a Glasgow dialect that is hard at first, but though it’s only a 7,000 word story you soon pick up the rhythm, and bolt through the whole thing. It might help to know a bit about Scottish football and its rivalries.
I loved it. Highly recommended.