20 July 2024
  • 20 July 2024

Caledonian Road by Andrew O’Hagan book review

on 1 July 2024 0

Caledonian Road by Andrew O’Hagan, reviewed by local councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes

Caledonian Road, penned by three times Booker Prize-nominated Andrew O’Hagan, is a literary giant destined to become a classic. 

Campbell Flynn is a middle-aged celebrity commentator and art historian. Coming from humble beginnings in Glasgow, he rises to the upper echelons of the cultural world. From the outside, Campbell seems like a working class boy done good. But, the problem is that his success and his lifestyle have been helped by wealthy friends whose wealth has come from questionable sources.

When Campbell befriends his student Milo Mangasha, what seems like a mutual respect with a hint of an ego boost for Campbell turns out to be anything but. When details begin to leak about the dealings of his close friend’s nefarious business activity, the usually self-assured Campbell’s life begins to fracture. 

Will the elite peers Campbell has relied on protect their own, or will they throw him to the wolves to save themselves? Will his ego be his undoing? Well, I’ll leave you to find out… In Caledonian Road, O’Hagan throws open the doors to the elite, showing the corruption and privilege that holds up the system, and the people at the heart of it. 

From parliament to council estates, the book introducse us to trafficked workers, political campaigners, Russian criminals, creatives, Lords and Duchesses, hairdressers and teachers. 

Above all, the real triumph of Caledonian Road is that it captures so many different life experiences with a real empathy for the flawed nature of humans, and a generous dollop of humour.

We have loads more book reviews online by Lisa-Marie Hughes and Brian Hannan from Abbey Books in Paisley including:

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