Book Review: The Last Days of Disco by David Ross


The 1980s is vividly recreated in a comedic and poignant novel by first time author David Ross.

A coming of age story set in recession hit Scotland. An entire generation’s fragile hopes and dreams is perilously close to being crushed by mass unemployment and the Falklands War. More than a nostalgic look back at the decade taste forgot, The Last Days of Disco is a warm and witty account of youthful exuberance and the irrepressible urge to forge a new and better life in a town with limited prospects for self improvement.

Fat Franny Francis is undisputed king of Kimnarnock’s mobile disco scene. Unchallenged champion of the turntables, he reigns supreme in the local dancehalls, and is the person to hire for birthday parties and wedding receptions. Long-term friends Bobby Cassidy and Joey Miller hatch a plan to set up their own mobile disco and challenge Fat Franny Francis’ supremacy.

Celebrating the seven inch single’s power to momentarily lift people out of the doldrums, The Last Days of Disco is a Trainspotting for the vinyl era.

The author has lived in Kilmarnock since a teenager and used his intimate knowledge of the area to craft an authentic recreation of the era that never falls prey to misty-eyed revisionism or caricature. Packed with social realism, humour, and pathos the book expertly recreates the epoch’s joys and tears.

Readers of a certain age will be transported back to their youth and once again get to relive a time when Shakin’ Stevens was the UK’s biggest selling male solo act. For those who were born after the 1980s, The Last Days of Disco captures the decade in all its harsh monochromatic glory.

Filled with characters that will make you want to laugh and cry, often in the space of a single page, Ross has written a tragi-comedic novel that might topple Trainspotting‘s crown and become Scotland’s favourite book of the last fifty years.

The Last Days of Disco can be ordered from Amazon:


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