Set on a canal linking Glasgow and Edinburgh, Young Adam is the masterly literary debut by one of the most important British post-war novelists.
Trocchi’s narrator is an outsider, a drifter working for the skipper of a barge. Together they discover a young woman’s corpse floating in the canal, and tensions increase further in cramped confines with the narrator’s highly charged seduction of the skipper’s wife. Conventional morality and the objective meaning of events are stripped away in a work that proves compulsively readable.
The George Best of Scottish literature.
Alexander Trocchi (1925–84) left Glasgow University with the honours of a brilliant philosophy scholar. In Paris, he founded Merlin – the outstanding literary magazine – wrote novels for Olympia Press, experimented with heroin and became hooked. He is best known for Cain’s Book and Young Adam.