Caledonian Road by Andrew O’Hagan – Our Review


From the author of Mayflies…

Our Review…

Toted by his publishers as a “state-of-the-nation novel” O’Hagan’s CaledonianRoad, captures what he calls, “The English problem [of ranking] your vices above other peoples virtues.”  His panoramic tome touches on a bit of everything; art criticism, cancel culture, Brexit, modern slavery; Cryptocurrencies, the vacuousness of aristocratic titles, self-help and pop psychology industries, the housing crisis, people smuggling, Imperialism, racism, private education and Russian oligarchs. 

The stories orbit around Campbell Flynn, a celebrity art historian who, perhaps due to his modest Glaswegian upbringing, doesn’t seem to take anyone or anything as seriously as the people around him. Energised by conversations with an Irish-Ethiopian student, Milo, Campbell joins him on an “experiment in justice” that unravels Campbell’s career and relationships with his (rather odious) friends and family. As Milo shows him, “we are who we know.”

Astute and brimming with brilliant banter, O’Hagan’s novel will appeal to those who love a good Dickensian drama or, more recently, Paul Murray’s The Bee Sting along with those who are brave and willing to sit in the discomfort of the realisation “we [are all] delusional even about our delusions.”

Review by Katina @ Great Escape Books