This Good Book

Paperback & limited edition hardback
Renard Press, 30 June 2021

‘Sometimes I wonder if I had known that it was going to take me fourteen years to paint this painting of the Crucifixion, and what it would take for me to paint it, would I have been as happy as I was then?’

Susan Alison MacLeod, a Glasgow School of Art graduate with a dark sense of humour, first lays eyes on Douglas MacDougall at a party in 1988, and resolves to put him on the cross in the Crucifixion painting she’s been sketching out, but her desire for authenticity in her portrayal of suffering means that the painting doesn’t see the light of day for fourteen years.

Over the same years, Douglas’ ever-more elaborately designed urine-filled plastic bags bring him exponentially increasing fame, prizes and commissions, while his modelling for Susan Alison, who continues to work pain and suffering on to the canvas, takes place mostly in the shadows. This Good Book is a wickedly funny, brilliantly observed novel that spins the moral compass and plays with notions of creating art.

‘A novel about Glasgow, about art, and about obsession. This Good Book will have you gripped from the opening chapter to its disturbing conclusion. Iain Hood is an original new voice in Scottish fiction.’ — Colette Paul

The work of a true poet, this book is as dark and psychotic as it is beautiful and delicate… No book has ever reminded me of The Picture of Dorian Gray quite like this… — Amelia Bashford, The Publishing Post

Nineteen-eighties Glasgow is evoked well… [and] the realisation of where the duo’s commitment to their art is taking them is genuinely chilling. Hood’s debut has a dark, compelling urgency. — Alastair Mabbott, The Herald

Highly original, darkly funny… a compulsive read. — Leigh Chambers

This Good Book works as a commentary on the ‘art is life, life is art’ idea… it’s also funny and has an offbeat writing style, which utilises Scottish dialect. Whether one is into religion or not, This Good Book’s innovative use of art is definitely worth a read. — Robert Pisani

Renard Press

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