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Longlisted International Dublin Literary Award 2016
Having been thrown out onto the Edinburgh streets by her family, Maggie knows she must fight to survive. Many years later, the struggles she had to endure can be kept a secret no longer.
Set mostly in post-war Britain and inspired by a real-life story, Ghost Moon is narrated with humour and compassion. A life-affirming read.
‘One of the most powerful and compelling pieces to emerge from the pen of this superb writer.’ —Alexander McCall Smith
‘Handled with Butlin's skill and compassion, the dark material in Night Visits is anything but sensationalised. He is ever seeking to acquire and encourage understanding of even the most wretched souls.’ —Nicholas Royle
‘The Sound of My Voice is the sound of a writer at the peak of his power, and one of the most inventive and daring novels ever to have come out of Scotland. Playful, haunting and moving, this is writing of the highest quality.’ —Ian Rankin
‘An assured, beautifully written novel.’ —Iain Banks
‘Butlin is a novelist capable of making the improbable ring true … remarkable powers of description … compellingly written.’ —Allan Massie
‘Poetic genius . . . Ron Butlin is the voice of Edinburgh.’ —FringeReview.com
‘Butlin is the best, the most productive Scottish poet of his generation.’ —Douglas Dunn
‘On “Belonging”: A gripping read . . . a real page-turner.’ —Guardian
‘On “No More Angels”: an emotional roller-coaster. . . If you love great books, read this, then everything Ron Butlin has penned.’ —Daily Record
‘It has become something of a cliché for the reviewer to shake their head in bewilderment at the continued status of Ron Butlin as ‘Scotland’s Best Kept Literary Secret’. Each new publication adds evidence for Butlin’s elevation to the pantheon of recognised Scottish greats and each subsequent book brings further disbelief that this hasn’t happened yet. Ghost Moon is no different.’ —Totoro
‘The book’s strength is its pace and its vivid drawing of a mother’s battle with social exclusion. The rather staccato style was not what I was expecting from the Makar, although there are touches of memorable lyricism and poignant symbolism: the Ghost Moon of the title is the name Maggie gives to the emerging Moon as she pushes Tom in his pram: seemingly as distant as her dreams.’ —Michael North
‘Five stars. This may be a short, compact novel but the slim tome is miraculously obese with feelings, life and a story that must have been repeated over and over during the last 50-plus years. Indeed this is how Ron makes a difference: before Ghost Moon I didn't fully understand the effects of the 'moral society' of the 50s that many still hark back to but now I do. Perhaps I'm not the only one.’ —Ani Johnson
‘He captures the atmosphere and geography of 1950s Edinburgh, its streets and trams and shops, with panache, and whilst the subject matter is fraught with sorrow, Butlin's stylish writing means the painful events of Ghost Moon, though never less than affecting, can be read with relish.’ —Jacqueline Thompson
‘Heroism is often too obvious and glib in fiction, but Maggie's is indefatigable. Some may argue that her actions are selfish, but those people must be cynical in the extreme. Everything she does is for her son or for Michael, and although she believes that it is with them that her chance for happiness lies, that is secondary to their well being. Butlin's triumph is to make the reader desperate to know what happens next, and how Maggie deals with everything put in front of her. This is thrilling writing about a subject which some may feel would be weighed down in sentiment and nostalgia, but Butlin keeps the pace by refusing to allow Maggie to stand still when others would simply give up. She is an unforgettable creation from a writer who once again proves that he is one of the best around, and Ghost Moon is a timely reminder of this.’ —Scots Whay Hae!