Morbid Relations is the story of Rob Argyll, an unsuccessful stand up comedian. Following his mother’s death he returns for the first time in years to his family in their Glasgow home. Rob struggles to relate to his somewhat dysfunctional family, seeming to bounce from one mistake to another while simultaneously trying to make amends for his long absence. The narrative is a darkly comic take on modern Scottish life, family relationships, and finally trying to grow up.
Jonathan Whitelaw is a journalist. After working on the frontline media of Scottish politics, he first reached global audiences with articles appearing in broadsheets, tabloids and magazines like The Sun, STV, Daily Mail and The Author. Subjects he has covered have varied from the arts, culture and sport to fashion, music and radioactive waste, with everything in between.
Morbid Relations is the authors debut novel.
As debut novels go Morbid Relations is pretty darn good.
The story focuses on Robert Argyll who to say at best is a pretty dismal stand up comedian. After the sad news of his mothers death he goes back home to see the rest of his family.
To start with I thought the story was ok, I can’t say it really grabbed me as I found it quite a sombre read to begin with but as the story progressed I began to enjoy the story for what it is. Morbid Relations pretty much is a story about family and the relationships within that family. The sense and feeling of Robert and his family for me comes more into its own over half way through as I personally think we see more of the brother/sister relationship by this point.
Towards the end of the book the story left me feeling all warm and cosy and I absolutely loved the ending. It did leave me wondering though if this isn’t the last we have seen of Robert and his family and I for one would like to see more.
Many Thanks to The Book Club and the author for an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.
I have awarded this book 3.5/5 stars.