Book #46

Somewhere To Lay My Head by Robert Douglas

This is the beginning of Robert Douglas's stirring memoir of growing from boy to man in the fast-changing Britain of the fifties and sixties. We follow him from the RAF Boys' Service to a Dickensian life down the pit, from there to slaving in a hotel, then back to Glasgow for work on the docks and a spell in a fearsome establishment for homeless men, before it is time to return to the forces for National Service.

I didn't realise when I first opened this book that it was actually an autobiography, nor did I realise that it was the second installment of a trilogy. I feel a bit odd now that I've discovered this as I hate reading things in the wrong order. However, I really enjoyed it.

I loved Douglas's writing style - it was really simple, yet somewhat comforting, and it times I almost felt like he was writing directly to me, as if he'd written all this in a letter.

There are some photographs peppered throughout the novel, too. I thought these were a great wee touch. They were mainly of Douglas's friends and family, but there was one in particular of Glasgow in the fifties, and I was mesmerised by it. It's amazing how you can instantly recognise an area you see almost every day, yet it's so different.

This was another reason for enjoying the novel - hearing about a familiar place in an unfamiliar time is something I really love. Douglas's descriptions of post-war Glasgow were gorgeous.

I'm going to try and get a hold of the first and third installments of this trilogy and try to catch up!

46 / 66 books. 70% done!