Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

The Big Man
William McIlvanney


The ‘big man’ is Dan Scoular, a legend of physical prowess in a decaying Ayrshire mining community. When a bare-knuckle fight offers both money and a purpose, he finds it turns into a monumental struggle to keep his heritage and integrity intact.

William McIlvanney, whose crime novels allowed him to be called the father of ‘Tartan Noir’, wrote in a gritty yet poetic style.

This book became a major motion picture starring Liam Neeson.

Paperback, 272pp
Canongate, 2014 (1986)
ISBN 9781782113027


William McIlvanney is the author of the award-winning Laidlaw trilogy, featuring Glasgow’s original maverick detective. Both Laidlaw and The Papers of Tony Veitch gained Silver Daggers from the Crime Writers’ Association, while the third in the series, Strange Loyalties, won the Glasgow Herald’s People’s Prize. He died in December 2015.