‘Acid’ by James Kelman

‘Acid’ is an extremely short story – just one paragraph peppered with Kelman’s trademark sharp observations. ‘Acid’ is one of the most visceral, visually shocking stories I’ve ever come across and I will boldly claim it is the best short story I’ve ever read. Kelman wields such a fierce power, sharpening his writers’ tools, in his bold, colloquial Glaswegian voice. The ending sees a man in a factory – “who was also the young man’s father” – dispose of his son in an utterly horrifying act of love. This is a brutal and exceptional story. if you’ve never read it, I strongly urge you to do so!

First published in Not Not While the Giro, Polygon, 1983, and available in Tales of Here and Then, thi wurd, 2020

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