Caledonian Road

Caledonian Road


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Published 9th April 2024

Gabi's Review 

Acclaimed writer Andrew O'Hagan's new novel Caledonian Road traces the unravelling of a middle-aged male author in the new social order of accountability. Campbell Flynn is an art historian and acclaimed professor, beloved among the literary elite, but who despite his success, harbours suspicions that his "reliable old self is being eclipsed" by evolving cultural and technological trends. But he is too set in his ways, too self-assured, as well as tone-deaf to social change, to heed the warnings. Flynn’s decline is seen through the lens of entitled high flyers in multicultural London, pursuing their self-absorbed gambits in a place where " the routines of civility, the ways of society and the habits of art are threaded with a history of brutality.”

Flynn epitomises the "older white male" dwelling in entitled myopia. He is also resentful of the success of his son, who exists in world of Instagram and non-fungible art. O’Hagan signals that Flynn’s fall from grace will be inevitable, but the decline is cleverly handled, nuanced and well plotted.

Caledonian Road is largely written in easy-to-read dialogue. Its characters are credible and carefully observed in their interactions with the educational, literary and fashion elites. The settings of Inner-city housing, iconic squares, clubs and bars are immediately recognisable and authentically rendered.

Publishers Review

From the author of Mayflies, an irresistible, unputdownable, state-of-the-nation novel - the story of one man's epic fall from grace.