Today Mandie takes over with a review of The Last Days of Disco, book one in the Disco Days trilogy by David F Ross. This one of those series I have had lurking on my shelf for a while and I loved reading all three. You can find my review of this book right here. This the original Orenda Books title – the very first kindle book ever released under the Orenda banner – a very important title indeed.
About the Book
Early in the decade that taste forgot, Fat Franny Duncan is on top of the world. He is the undoubted King of the Ayrshire Mobile Disco scene, controlling and ruling the competition with an iron fist. But the future is uncertain. A new partnership is coming and is threatening to destroy the big man’s Empire …
Bobby Cassidy and Joey Miller have been best mates since primary school. Joey is an idealist; Bobby just wants to get laid and avoid following his brother Gary to the Falklands. A partnership in their new mobile disco venture seems like the answer to everything.
The Last Days of Disco is about family, music, small-time gangsters … and the fear of being sent to the Falklands by the biggest gangster of them all. Witty, energetic and entirely authentic, it’s also heartbreakingly honest, weaving together tragedy and comedy with an uncanny and unsettling elegance. A simply stunning debut.
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Welcome to the Heady Heights I was really looking forward to getting stuck into The Last Days of Disco and once again being delighted by David Ross’s brand of humour mixed in with the realities of life.
Bobby Cassidy and Joey Millar have decided to set up their own mobile disco as a way to make money once they leave school. The only issue with this is that they will be in direct competition with Fat Franny a local loan shark/entertainment man who most sane people in the area know better than to cross. There is a totally innocent lack of planning to their new venture that you have to wonder how they will ever make a success of it and at times it is definitely a case of luck more than judgement. Some of the situations he gets himself into are just too hilarious.
In stark contrast to the life of Bobby, you get the harsh reality of war from the viewpoint of his elder brother Gary as he is sent to the Falkland Islands to fight. When they were both younger it was always Gary who got into trouble and led Bobby astray (something you get a glimpse of in the opening chapter of the book). In his letters back home, you can see how he has changed in part due to the army but also from the situation he now finds himself in. What he witnesses and endures will surely change him forever.
The Last Days of Disco is a book that well and truly took me back to my youth, set in a time when I was just hitting the start of my teenage years. It brought back memories of how things were back then and gave me a real laugh along the way. There are scenes that will stick in my memory for quite some time purely for the genius way that David Ross describes situations and the characters he has created. I am not going to lie when I say that it took me a little while to settle into reading “Scottish” but it’s the local turn of phrase that just adds to the comedy of events.
Set in the early 80’s with unemployment rife and the threat of war in the Falklands it’s a walk in the past that pulls no punches but does it with such style that will leave you hunting for the tunes of old and remembering a time when things certainly seemed a lot simpler (not necessarily easier).
About the Author
David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over thirty years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His most prized possession is a signed Joe Strummer LP. Since the publication of his debut novel The Last Days of Disco, he’s become something of a media celebrity in Scotland, with a signed copy of his book going for £500 at auction, and the German edition has not left the bestseller list since it was published.
Books by David F. Ross