A Working Class State of Mind
by Colin Burnett
'Fabulous book. Colin is a great writer, and the characters are so believable. I couldn't put it down.'
JANEY GODLEY, Stand-up comedian, Actress, and writer
'Colin Burnett's novel written entirely in East-coast Scots, A Working Class State of Mind, is lucid, fast, funny, hard, twisty, comical, brutal, benign, happily cheeky, and so linguistically erratic that the nature of being erratic quickly becomes an incontrovertible virtue - the reader is just wheeched alang ithoot devaul or even mercy - when's the sequel?'
PROFESSOR ALAN RIACH, Scottish Literature, University of Glasgow
“Telt in his ain Embra Scots, Colin’s chairacters’ lifes spairkle wi the language o thaim thit belang tae the toon.”
DR MICHAEL DEMPSTER, Scots Scriever
Written entirely in East coast Scots A Working Class State of Mind, the debut book by Colin Burnett, brings the everyday reality and language of life in Scotland to the surface.
Colin's fiction takes themes in the social sciences and animates them in vivid ethnographic portrayals of what it means to be working class in Scotland today.
Delving into the tragic exploits of Aldo as well as his long time suffering best friends Dougie and Craig, the book follows these and other characters as they make their way in a city more divided along class lines than ever before.
"The reader is already familiar with Aldo. Adlo is the ballast that makes most stories work; he appears as a wee skinny Asian kid with a kick-ass attitude. He’s a familiar figure in any working-class community. The hardman that takes nae shite. But he’s also funny, but not deliberately so. And he has a heart."
Review on ABCtales
From The Midlothian Advertiser - "A Bonnyrigg author’s debut novel of short stories about local working class characters written in their native dialogue is proving popular all over the world." (FULL ARTICLE)
From SNACK magazine: "Colin Burnett’s debut short story collection introduces a new and vibrant to Scottish writing. What follows are tales fro success and failure often arrive hand in hand and coping mechanisms include pills, pubs piss taking. It does take time to adjust to Burnett’s Scots, but that is in no small part the point. Colin Burnett is not only demanding that his voice be heard, but that none should be silenced or denied. There is a call for cultural legitimacy, which lifts a working class state of mind to another level." SNACK Magazine August 2021.
"Burnett will no doubt be hoping that loveable psycho Aldo might become the new Begbie, a character burned into the Scottish psyche. With Burnett's hardman character also striking first and asking questions later."
-- Edinburgh Evening News
"A glimpse into working-class life in Leith in all its shades and kaleidoscopes. This is Burnett's first book and he has talent, a rare voice and way with characters which is compelling and at times spellbinding. One to watch for in future."
-- Gerry Hassan, Author and Commentator
"This honest, often gritty account of working-class life is full of dark humour and tales of perseverance through hard times. Fans of Irvine Welsh and James Kelman will enjoy this new and exciting young author."
-- Alasdair Peoples, Visit Scotland
There are obvious influences of Welsh, Kelman and perhaps Warner too in this compelling debut collection, and like these mentors, Burnett brings what feels like lived experience to his writing. His protagonists are full of life in all their frightening brutality, dark humour and ultimate humanity and it is the sheer believability of them and their exploits that places this fresh new voice in Scottish working-class literature at the top of the ever-blossoming tree."
-- Loretta Mulholland, Into The Creative
"The stories about anti hero Aldo goading a junior fitba goalkeeper, and caring for a dug are modern classics of the Scots Gothic genre, where you laugh but feel slightly guilty about laughing because of the subject matter. Scottish literature has always prided itself on its democratic pedigree - giving voice to sections of society which go unrecorded in many other countries. Colin Burnett is a new and bright young star in contemporary Scots letters, and I look forward to more excellent writing from him in the future."
-- Billy Kay, Writer and Broadcaster
"Colin Burnett is an exciting new voice in Scottish fiction - his debut collection of short stories, A Working Class State of Mind, starring Aldo, along with his friends Dougie and Craig, is garnering a lot of attention, and rightly so."
-- Books From Scotland, Part of Our Favourite Things Issue
"Finishing A Working Class State of Mind left me looking forward to reading more by Burnett, a strong new voice in Scots and Scottish literature who demands working class voices be heard and read on their own terms. Mair power to his elbow."
-- Erin Farley, Bella Caledonia
"Colin Burnett is not only demanding his voice is heard, but that none should be silenced or denied. There is a call for cultural legitimacy which lifts A Working Class State of Mind to another level."
-- Alastair Braidwood, Snack Magazine
"Sharp, witty and thought provoking with undeniable shadows of Welsh and Kelman - Colin Burnett's debut makes for an incredibly tantalising read."
-- Eilidh Reid, Scots Independent Newspaper
Published with support from the Scottish Language Publication Grant