Annal: 1998 Whitbread Book Award for First Novel

Results of the Whitbread Book Award in the year 1998.

Book:The Last King of Scotland

The Last King of Scotland

Giles Foden

Shortly after his arrival in Uganda, Scottish doctor Nicholas Garrigan is called to the scene of a bizarre accident: Idi Amin, careening down a dirt road in his red Maserati, has run over a cow. When Garrigan tends to Amin, the dictator, in his obsession for all things Scottish, appoints him as his personal physician. And so begins a fateful dalliance with the central African leader whose Emperor Jones-style autocracy would transform into a reign of terror.

In The Last King of Scotland Foden’s Amin is as ridiculous as he is abhorrent: a grown man who must be burped like an infant, a self-proclaimed cannibalist who, at the end of his 8 years in power, would be responsible for 300,000 deaths. And as Garrigan awakens to his patient’s baroque barbarism—and his own complicity in it—we enter a venturesome meditation on conscience, charisma, and the slow corruption of the human heart. Brilliantly written, comic and profound, The Last King of Scotland announces a major new talent.

Book:Jelly Roll

Jelly Roll

Luke Sutherland

When struggling band The Sunnys lose a member on the verge of a tour of the Highlands of Scotland, they are left a saxophone short with a series of gigs to fulfil. When Liam is introduced to the band, he is perfect in every sense except one: he is black.

Book:The Restraint of Beasts

The Restraint of Beasts

Magnus Mills

Here is the captivating tale of three men who work for a company specializing in high-tension fences, the kind that keep beasts in and humans out—or maybe the other way around. Tam and Richie are good Scots lads at heart (taciturn and suspicious of authority) who have turned loafing and pub-crawling into an art form. They try the patience of their foreman, the narrator of the novel, who has the misfortune of being British. Carefully laid plans go haywire from the start. The fence they had built for Mr. McCrindle has gone slack, and while he watches them attempt to set things right, things go horribly, terribly wrong. Covering their tracks as best they can, the hapless trio head south from Scotland to do a job in England. But sometimes good fences make disastrous neighbors.



Gavin Kramer

Like Humbert Humbert, like the professor in The Blue Angel, Alistair Meadowlark is obsessed. Too tall, too fat, too clumsy, he is earnest but out of place in Tokyo where he has been sent to work in a law office. At first he does his best to satisfy expectations. And then he meets Sachiko, a would-be starlet, aspiring businesswoman, fashion fanatic. A dainty nymphet, she has an obsession of her own. And a remarkable pas de deux—a folie a deux—commences. Through the neon-lit streets and freak shows and love hotels of contemporary Tokyo, this remarkable novel charts an erotic culture clash—and the downfall of the besotted Meadowlark.

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