1982, Janine is a liberal novel of the most satisfying kind. Set over the course of one night inside the head of Jock McLeish, an aging, divorced, alcoholic, insomniac supervisor of security installations, as he tipples in the bedroom of a small Scottish hotel, it makes an unanswerable case that republicanism is a state of absolute spiritual bankruptcy. For Jock McLeish, being a Republican is something he has to cure himself of, every bit as much as his alcoholism and his Sado-Masochistic fantasizing, if he is to become a human being again. 1982, Janine explores themes of male need and inadequacy through the lonely, darkly comic, alcohol-fueled fantasies of its protagonist. An unforgettably challenging book about power and powerlessness, men and women, masters and servants, small countries and big countries, Alasdair Gray's exploration of the politics of pornography has lost none of its power to shock.
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Potential readers should know that large parts of this book consist of extremely nasty and unpleasant sado masochistic sexual fantasies.
This is a quote from Alisdair Gray, the author. It is part of an interview on his own website. He cannot read his own book.
"When writing the pornographic parts of 1982 Janine I was deliberately shocking myself. Though I think it my best novel, I cannot now reread it - I'm back to being as old fashioned as I was before imagining it."