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Chris McQueer Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Hings (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
HWFG (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Leathered (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Chris McQueer is a Scottish author who is best known for his dark comedy, surreal humor, and short stories. In addition to his work as an author of short stories, McQueer is also a spoken art performer that has gotten rave reviews for his performances in that field.

McQueer was raised in the East End of Glasgow and held a variety of jobs before becoming a ful-time writer. One of his jobs was as a sandwich artist at Subway and he later worked at a sports shop as a seller of trainers, he would say the greatest seller of trainers that the world has ever seen. Another job that he held was as a crime scene cleaner which is exactly what it sounds like.

The work at the sports shop really helped to inspire his writing as every day he was interacting with people and picking up their quirks, finding them inspiring to write stories about. It’s something that he misses since going full-time as a writer as he’s not exposed to as many people in his daily life as he was when he had that job.

Chris left school at the age of sixteen and went to work, but he also began writing. At first, he kept his writing a secret from his family and friends, but his girlfriend found out about his writing and encouraged him to start sharing his stories with the world. He started his twitter account @ChrisMcQueer which lead to him gaining a level of notoriety and ultimately lead to his publication and his first short story collection, Hings.

His writing is best known for the way that it takes the Scots language and really makes it a key part of the text. The stories that he tells are filled with dark comedy and surreal humour. The stories are written in naturalistic Glaswegian Scots and English. The most apt comparison of McQueer’s writing was made by the Scottish actor Martin Compston who described McQueer as “like Charlie Brooker on Buckfast”. His darkly humorous style has pieces of Limmy and Irvine Welsh in there as well, but McQueer remains a wholly unique author that continues to grow with each collection.

His first collection of short stories was initially published on twitter, but that collection of twitter stories was later collected and became his first published work – Hings. The book was an instant hit that allowed McQueer to give up his job and focus on writing full-time. Hings won the Best Short Story Collection award at the 2018 Saboteur Awards.

With his success from Hings, he began work on his next collection which became 2018’s HWFG (which stands for Here We F*cking Go). That book was the first collection of stories that was written for publication instead of for twitter. The book changed as he was writing it as he felt it was initially too similar to Hings and he was unhappy with it. McQueer went back to work and consciously wrote it with the a darker tone which helped the writing process and ultimately made the book a success. After successfully publishing two collections of short stories, McQueer began work on his first full-length novel.

One thing that is wholly unique about McQueer is that he really writers as he talks in the slang of Glasgow. He uses words like laikit, clatty, and bumping yer gums that are likely to be foreign to someone who doesn’t quite understand how Scots talk. A big part of the reason he writes like this is that when he was growing up there weren’t any books that were written like he talked in Glasgow. McQueer has said that the book has been picked up by many Scotsmen that don’t read because the books aren’t written for them like his is.

While Hings is best known for its dark comedy, the collection also features stories that are touching and others that are thought provoking. The stories have a unique way of putting surreal and witty twists on the every day life of Glasgowians. The stories are inspired by his life working and living in Glasgow, and come straight from his mind. The book is packed with interesting stories like the story of Deek who thinks he is going to be at the forefront of the art outsider movement and has plans to make Banksy proud. Another story is about a tattoo lover named Davie who thinks that his latest tattoo is going to be his ultimate masterpiece.

One of the more popular stories in the book is the story of Peter’s night off. Shelley wants him to cover her shift, but there is no way that he will do it and he goes to extreme lengths to keep it that way. He even brings in some friends to make a cover story that will surprise you. Another, almost science fiction story, features one of the most creative minds in the galaxy who is having a hard time creating parallel universes.

HWFG: Here We F**king Go is the follow-up book after Hings and features a step in writing growth from McQueer as this is the first book that he wrote with the intention of being published. He tinged this book with a darker level and it shows in the quality of the book. One of the interesting stories in the book tells of the plan to go and beat up Kim Jong-Un. There is also a story about why moths are so terrifying that will leave you never looking at moths the same way. The book continues multiple stories that range from small stories to future sci-fi that would fit on the television show Black Mirror.

The book is filled with stories that will make you laugh and features others that will make you feel ashamed for laughing at them. Like most of his work, McQueer is at his best when writing about Scots with the standout story “Big Angie Goes to Craig Tara” that is a favorite among fans as it returns a great character from the first collection.

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