Tammas is 20, a loner and a compulsive gambler. Unable to hold a job for long, his life revolves around Glasgow bars, home with his sister and brother-in-law, the dog track, betting shops, casinos and occasionally a day at the races. Sometimes Tammas wins, more often he loses, but betting gives him as good a chance as any of discovering what he really seeks from life since society offers him no prospect of a better or more fulfilling alternative. First published by Polygon in 1985.
James Kelman was born in Glasgow in 1946. After leaving school at 15 he worked in the printing industry and as a bus driver. In 1971 he attended creative writing night classes and in 1973 an American company published his first collection of short stories, An Old Pub Near The Angel. Greyhound for Breakfast won the 1987 Cheltenham Prize; A Disaffection won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; How late it was, how late won the 1994 Booker Prize amidst a storm of controversy. He has also written many plays for stage and radio. He lives in Glasgow with his wife and family.