Latest articles from Alan Taylor

Why cinema audiences still lap up depressing, dystopian futures

WHO knows what the future holds. As I write the news suggests we are in a proper pickle. Towns are flooded and many homes and businesses are ruined beyond repair. Coronavirus is sweeping the globe, infecting tens of thousands, killing hundreds and bringing travel to a standstill.

Boyce feeling right at home in Gorgie

As an indication of how well Liam Boyce has transitioned from Burton Albion to Hearts, the striker has acknowledged finding temporary accommodation that allow dogs had been his biggest challenge.

Alan Taylor: Bob Dylan is a man always on the move

A FEW months ago Bob Dylan celebrated his 78th birthday. For anyone who has followed his career from its efflorescence in the 1960s that should come as no revelation, but it surely does to those of us who heard Forever Young when it was first released in 1974 and were deluded into believing that would be our destiny.

Though occasionally affecting, Gordon Brown's long-awaited memoir is an exercise in tedium

GORDON Brown and I are near contemporaries. He was born in 1951; I came along a year later. We share similar upbringings and backgrounds. We were both raised in the east of Scotland — he in Fife, me in the Lothians – at a time when coal mining was still a viable and dominant industry. Our education was state-based and the role of the Church of Scotland was formative. Brown’s father was a minister while mine was a kirk elder and a leader in the Life Boys, membership of which I tend now to think was of critical importance in my formation.

Book review: Alan Taylor explores classic crime novels in a new anthology by Martin Edwards

WHEN I was in my teens and didn’t know any better I dreamed of writing crime novels. I started one. The sleuth was a middle-aged milkman who as he did his early morning round stumbled across a body, as dog walkers tend to do nowadays. My milkman, let’s call him Ernie, was as smart as Poirot and as hardbitten as Marlowe. Through the litter-free streets of leafy suburbia Ernie – the creme de la creme of his profession – would trundle in his cart, telling witnesses and suspects they’d better not bottle things or else. He had his eye on a housewife called Ethel who, in her floral Terylene apron and fuscia-coloured brothel creepers, was the local femme fatale. I could go on but even I could see that having a milkman as a hero was stretching credulity. It was at that point I decided to become the new Dylan Thomas.