'His face made a fist at the world. The twined remnant of umbilicus projected vulnerably. Hands, feet and prick. He had come equipped for the job.'
Newborn Conn Docherty, raw as a fresh wound, lies between his parents in their tenement room, with no birthright but a life's labour in the pits of his small town. But the world is changing, and, lying next to him, Conn's father Tam has decided that his son's life will be different from his own.
Gritty, dark and tender, McIlvanney's Docherty is a modern classic.