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the Complete Review
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McGrotty and Ludmilla

Alasdair Gray

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Title: McGrotty and Ludmilla
Author: Alasdair Gray
Genre: Novel
Written: 1990
Length: 133 pages
Availability: McGrotty and Ludmilla - US
McGrotty and Ludmilla - UK
McGrotty and Ludmilla - Canada
  • McGrotty and Ludmilla or The Harbinger Report
  • First written as radio play (broadcast on July 18, 1975).
  • Stage version first performed February, 1987.

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Our Assessment:

A- : fun and entertaining political tale

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
The NY Rev. of Books . 25/4/1991 Gordon A. Craig

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The complete review's Review:

       Originally written as a radio play, then revised for the stage, Alasdair Gray finally turned McGrotty and Ludmilla into a novel. The plot, as he freely acknowledges, is taken from the Arabian Nights. Specifically, it is the Aladdin story, transposed to modern Whitehall.
       The unprepossessing Mungo McGrotty rises from his humble governmental post to the heights of power, helped by the mysterious Harbinger Report which holds marvelous powers of blackmail. In this fantastical comedy McGrotty finds (and keeps -- unusual in a Gray tale) happiness and love. He is no bright light -- "I don't read books" he acknowledges ("I'm glad to hear it," he is told: "They can be terribly misleading.") -- but he knows what he wants, and he also turns out to be a fairly decent fellow. Helped by his partner and true love, Ludmilla, he first flirts with ambition, and then winds up doing the right thing.
       Deft, clever, and amusing, and not near as dark as much of Gray's writing, McGrotty and Ludmilla is a most enjoyable entertainment. Truly a modern tale out of the Arabian Nights.

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McGrotty and Ludmilla: Alasdair Gray Other books by Alasdair Gray under review: Books about Alasdair Gray under review: Other books of interest under review:
  • See Index of Contemporary British fiction

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About the Author:

       Scottish author Alasdair Gray was born in 1934. A noted illustrator and author, he has written a number of remarkable works of fiction.

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