Arts & Culture

REVIEW: Hings by Chris McQueer

Fresher’s week is a time to meet new people, immerse yourself in the party atmosphere and embarrass yourself in front of strangers. Your only peaceful moments will involve you lying alone in a pitiful alcohol induced state of suffering, unsuccessfully attempting to stomach bites of buy one get one free Dominos. After a while you’re going to wish you were tucked up in your single bed with a green tea and a nice book. And we have just the paperback for you.

Glasgow’s own Chris McQueer has been making waves on Twitter for some time with his short stories. Despite earning comparisons to Limmy and Irvine Welsh, the 20-something has made quite the name for himself as a unique and original writer within the Scottish publishing scene. After months of anticipation online, his debut collection of short stories “Hings” hit the market in July to readers’ delight.

The themes in “Hings” range from morbid encounters with dodgy seafood, secret raves in privately owned garden sheds, taxi driving football stars and the dangers of swapping shifts. Each story is written with a level of comedic expertise you’d expect from somebody twice Chris’s age. The tales may be short, but they are the perfect length for showcasing his sheer skill. The characters are bizarre, but they feel real. Any one of them could be that strange person you keep overhearing on the bus – the kind of person who you listen to and think, “you couldn’t make it up.”

“Hings” has left me full-on belly laughing on public transport. It has fascinated me to the extent that I have read story after story without even considering looking up. I’ve re-read some of the pieces again and again, wondering how Chris’s mind could invent such hysterical people and situations.

There is no doubt that Chris McQueer’s debut has been incredibly successful, and I know for certain that there will be more brilliance to come from this young star on the rise very soon.

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMcQueer, and pick up a copy of “Hings” from your local Waterstones!

Featured photo credit – 404Ink