The Ends of their Tethers is vintage Gray - experimental, mischievous, wide-ranging but also subtly connected. And as always the work is hall-marked with his highly engaging prose style, dry wit and fecund imagination. These thirteen tales challenge prejudice, question social imbalances and explore human foibles. In No Bluebeard a socially reclusive man, veteran of three marriages, meets a disturbed and eccentric woman desperate to remain hidden from her family. In Job's Skin Game a father develops a skin condition in response to the emotional shock of losing his two sons in the September 11th attacks and his fortune in the dot com crisis. The exquisite pleasure he takes from scratching and peeling his dead epidermis becomes his sole preoccupation and a metaphor for what is ultimately a wholly sane response to tragedy. Wellbeing offers a politically charged dystopian vision of a future Britain as seen through the eyes of a once-revered writer, now homeless yet stubbornly refusing to move to a more hospitable country as, "There are better ways of living than being happy but they require strength and sanity." Beautifully produced and illustrated throughout with Gray's distinctive drawings, this is an important and highly accessible collection.
Used availability for Alasdair Gray's The Ends of Our Tethers
March 2004 : UK Hardback
October 2003 : UK Hardback
January 2005 : UK Paperback
July 2004 : UK Paperback
January 2014 : Canada, UK Kindle edition