UNDER CONTROL by Mark McNay was sent to me from Canongate (an uncorrected proof so I have been asked not to quote from it). This was a gritty fast-paced read about a prostitute, her psychotic boyfriend and the man from the health service who was supposed to be helping them free themselves of their drug addiction. My review is on Revish here.
This is Mark McNay's second novel - his first having won an Arts Foundation New Fiction Award and the Saltire First Book of the Year Award.
AN UNCOMMON READER by Alan Bennett, in contrast, was about as ungritty as you can get. It was an extremely funny fantasy based on the idea of what would happen if the Queen of England suddenly became obsessed with reading books. It was sent to me by Profile books. This is a very short, light-hearted book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Despite its lightness, I did find it had a few things to say about the effect of reading books on a person's life, which were quite profound. I shall also review this on Revish here.