Welcome to the Heady Heights is a contemporary, gritty novel set between 1975 and 1977 in Glasgow and, whilst it has multiple storylines, centrally focuses on Archie Blunt and his ups and downs.
It’s quite hard to describe the plot of Welcome to the Heady Heights without giving too much away, but I will do my best.
Archie Blunt is relatively unremarkable – he’s a painfully average, blue collar worker just trudging through his life, always dreaming of fame and fortune. Until one day, a chance gig copes across his lap that could thrust in into the spotlight – but on the mean street of Glasgow can dreams come true?
Archie gets the chance to take a group of young lads to a very ‘X Factor’ style show called the Heady Heights, hosted by Heady Hendricks after the main man himself finds himself owing Archie a favour.
” ‘Susie, ah helped her out,’ said Geordie, answering a question that Archie hadn’t actually asked yet.
‘Ae her knickers?’
‘Naw…well, aye…but she had some money troubles.’ “
Amongst all of this, Heady Hendricks – along with MP Jamesie Campbell, is opening a hotel of sorts to help the homeless problem in Glasgow. But, as this is a gritty novel, things aren’t what they seem and this particular vulnerable group is left to the mercy of an elite group. I don’t want to say much more but I will say that this book is set in the same time as Jimmy Savile and Gary Glitter…I’ll leave the rest up to you.
I have to admit that there is an awful lot going on in Welcome to the Heady Heights. On top of the disturbing sexual depravity of a private group of the Scottish elite, there is a story of an investigative journalist on a journey to get to the bottom of the mystery of a dead relative and a storyline of a policewoman experiencing sexism in her profession.
“He was an unrequited dreamer, he acknowledged that. but what are dreams for, if not pursuing?”
To his credit, David F. Ross does give each character a chance to shine, but some of them could definitely have their own novel.
This book is touted as a love letter to Glasgow, and given the subject matter and bleak tones of the book; you’d wonder how that could possibly be true. But in fact, it is! There’s a raw truth to the dialogue, descriptions of places and behaviours of characters that all lend an incredible credibility to Welcome to the Heady Heights. I’m no stranger to Glasgow and it’s great to read about places I can recognise in my head because I’ve been there.
Speaking of being no stranger to Glasgow, the most authentic part of Welcome to the Heady Heights is the dialogue. Having lived in Scotland for 10 years I had no trouble with the dialogue at all, but those not familiar with Scottish slang may have a couple of head-scratching moments!
All in all, Welcome to the Heady Heights is a gritty, involving novel that isn’t afraid to go to some dark places, but always keeps the realism intact!
Thanks to Avon for partnering with me and for providing and advanced copy for review.
Do you want to go to the Heady Heights? How would you like to win a copy? Well you can!
I’ve teamed up with Orenda books to offer one of my readers a finished copy of Welcome to the Heady Heights!
The giveaway is open internationally and all you need to do is email me (email@example.com) OR drop me a PM on Instagram (@a_novel_love) with your name and country of residence! That’s all!
The winner will be chosen at random and I will email the winner when they have been drawn!
Giveaway closes at 5pm GMT on 27th March!
Good luck everyone!
[PLEASE NOTE]: I was not paid or sponsored to write this review – all the opinions are honest and my own.
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